Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10077/5550
Title: Internal to what? A critique of the distinction between internal and external reasons for action
Authors: Mordacci, Roberto
Keywords: internalismexternalismmotivation
Issue Date: 2000
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Roberto Mordacci, "Internal to what? A critique of the distinction between internal and external reasons for action", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, II (2000) 1
Series/Report no.: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
II (2000) 1
Abstract: The distinction between internalism and externalism can be interpreted in different ways, which must be kept clearly distinct. The distinction between internal and external reasons for action, proposed by Bernard Williams (1980), can be interpreted as expressing a form of internalism. If we assume that internalism seems preferable to externalism and Williams’s "internal reason theorist" as an internalist, we have an example of an anti-rationalistic form of internalism. I will suggest that Williams’s arguments do not justify his distinction and the consequences he draws, basically because of the unjustified exclusion of rational elements from the "subjective motivational set". Moreover, Williams’s position seems exposed to a subjectivistic outcome which he himself probably would wish to avoid. Therefore, I argue that the distinction between internal and external reasons should be abandoned. Some considerations in favour of a rationalistic interpretation of internalism and of the normativity of moral reasons are then suggested.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10077/5550
ISSN: 1825-5167
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2000) II/1

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