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ThesisUniversity of Iceland>Hugvísindasvið>B.A. verkefni>

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/6894


Judgments, Motives and Akrasia

November 2010

In this paper I wish to do two things. First, I seek to explain the nature of the strong internalist theories about motivation I call in the paper commitment theories. Second, I wish to develop and argue for my two-part theory of moral judgments.
Commitment theories are theories about moral judgments that make acting against them impossible in the absence of other, overriding moral judgments. I recognize three distinct approaches to achieve this commitment that I call motivational, epistemological and combinational commitments. From this discussion I then proceed to talk about the well-known phenomenon of akrasia (weakness of will, or acting against one´s better judgmnent) that seems to contradict the commitment theories. I discuss two types of answers to this problem: one I call the Socratic denial and the other judgment-disconnection approach. Although I do recognize that both types of answers solve the apparent contradiction I argue that neither of them treat akrasia adequately. I then introduce and develop my two-part theory of moral judgments. According to this theory, moral judgments are combinations of two sorts of judgments: first-order judgments that are motivational and second-order judgments that are evaluative of first-order judgments. Akrasia is then explained by a mismatch between the two types of judgments. The motivational judgment causes the agent to do something that his second-order evaluative judgment then condems.


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