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Is moral internalism supported by folk intuitions?

Taylor & Francis
Publication Date
  • Externalism
  • Internalism
  • Moral Judgment
  • Moral Motivation
  • Experimental Philosophy
  • Intuition
  • Philosophy And Religion
  • Philosophy


In the metaethical debate on moral internalism and externalism, appeal is constantly made to people’s intuitions about the connection between moral judgments and motivation. However, internalists and externalists disagree considerably about their content. In this paper, we present an empirical study of laymen’s intuitions about this connection. We found that they lend surprisingly little support to the most celebrated versions of internalism, which provide reasons to be skeptical of the evidential basis for these views.

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