Skip to main content

Moral Judgement and Moral Motivation

Buy Article:

$51.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


I criticize an important argument of Michael Smith, from his recent book The Moral Problem (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994). Smith’s argument, if sound, would undermine one form of moral externalism – that which insists that moral judgements only contingently motivate their authors. Smith claims that externalists must view good agents as always prompted by the motive of duty, and that possession of such a motive impugns the goodness of the agent. I argue (i) that externalists do not (ordinarily) need to assign moral agents such as a motive, and (ii) that possession of this motive, when properly understood, is morally admirable.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: University of California at Santa Barbara

Publication date: 1998-07-01

  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more