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The Many Moral Rationalisms$
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Karen Jones and François Schroeter

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198797074

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198797074.001.0001

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The Motivating Power of the A Priori Obvious

The Motivating Power of the A Priori Obvious

Chapter:
(p.210) 10 The Motivating Power of the A Priori Obvious
Source:
The Many Moral Rationalisms
Author(s):

Ram Neta

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198797074.003.0010

How does moral reasoning motivate? Michael Smith argues that it does so by rationally constraining us to have desires that motivate, but the plausibility of his argument rests on a false assumption about the relation between wide-scope and narrow-scope constraints of rationality. Michael Huemer argues that it does so by generating motivating appearances, but the plausibility of his argument rests on a false assumption about the skeptical costs of a thoroughgoing empiricism. The chapter defends an alternative view, according to which moral facts can be a priori obvious, and our a priori knowledge of them can motivate us to act.

Keywords:   moral rationalism, moral realism, Michael Smith, Michael Huemer, moral motivation

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