April 22, 2022

Why and When is Pure Moral Motivation Defective

Abstract

Agents sometimes have a final, de dicto desire to do what is right. They desire to do what is right for its own sake and under this description. These agents have pure moral motivation (PMM). It is often surmised that PMM is in some sense defective. Most famously, it has been suggested that PMM manifests a kind of moral fetishism. However, it also seems defective if an agent shows no concern whatsoever for moral rightness in their motivations. In this paper, I attempt to resolve this puzzling tension. I argue, first, that PMM is defective insofar as it manifests a failure to respond to reasons. I argue, second, that not every instance of PMM manifests a responsiveness failure. In particular, we need to distinguish between the de dicto final desire to do what is right and the de dicto final desire to do what is right for the right reasons.

April 22, 2022 at 03:55PM

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