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In this paper the ‘moral fetishism’ argument originally presented by Michael Smith against moral judgment externalism is defended. I argue that only the internalist views on the relation of moral judgment and motivation can combine two attractive theses: first, that the morally admirable are motivated to act on the reasons they take to ground actions' being right, and second, that their virtuousness need not be diminished by their acting on their thinking something right. Lastly, some possibilities are envisaged for internalists in light of a worry to the effect that the argument, if successful, undermines the internalist theories, too.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Moral and Social Philosophy, P.O. Box 9, 00014 University of Helsinki., Email:

Publication date: 2004-05-01

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