Gripped by authority

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Moral judgments are typically experienced as being categorically authoritative – i.e. as having a prescriptive force that (i) is motivationally gripping independently of both conventional norms and one’s pre-existing desires, and (ii) justificationally trumps both conventional norms and one’s pre-existing desires. We argue that this key feature is best accommodated by the meta-ethical position we call ‘cognitivist expressivism’, which construes moral judgments as sui generis psychological states whose distinctive phenomenological character includes categorical authoritativeness. Traditional versions of expressivism cannot easily accommodate the justificationally trumping aspect of categorical authoritativeness, because they construe moral judgments as fundamentally desire-like. Moral realism cannot easily accommodate the aspect of inherent motivational grip, because realism construes moral judgments as a species of factual belief.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalCanadian Journal of Philosophy
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Feb 20 2018

Fingerprint

Authority
Moral Judgment
Categorical
Conventional
Expressivism
Prescriptive
Cognitivist
Psychological
Realism
Moral Realism

Keywords

  • Categorical authoritativeness
  • expressivism
  • moral judgment
  • motivation
  • phenomenology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy

Cite this

Gripped by authority. / Horgan, Terence E; Timmons, Mark C.

In: Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 20.02.2018, p. 1-24.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{7fe82b00f7e441919bd6aca3abf2f427,
title = "Gripped by authority",
abstract = "Moral judgments are typically experienced as being categorically authoritative – i.e. as having a prescriptive force that (i) is motivationally gripping independently of both conventional norms and one’s pre-existing desires, and (ii) justificationally trumps both conventional norms and one’s pre-existing desires. We argue that this key feature is best accommodated by the meta-ethical position we call ‘cognitivist expressivism’, which construes moral judgments as sui generis psychological states whose distinctive phenomenological character includes categorical authoritativeness. Traditional versions of expressivism cannot easily accommodate the justificationally trumping aspect of categorical authoritativeness, because they construe moral judgments as fundamentally desire-like. Moral realism cannot easily accommodate the aspect of inherent motivational grip, because realism construes moral judgments as a species of factual belief.",
keywords = "Categorical authoritativeness, expressivism, moral judgment, motivation, phenomenology",
author = "Horgan, {Terence E} and Timmons, {Mark C}",
year = "2018",
month = "2",
day = "20",
doi = "10.1080/00455091.2018.1432393",
language = "English (US)",
pages = "1--24",
journal = "Canadian Journal of Philosophy",
issn = "0045-5091",
publisher = "University of Lethbridge",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Gripped by authority

AU - Horgan, Terence E

AU - Timmons, Mark C

PY - 2018/2/20

Y1 - 2018/2/20

N2 - Moral judgments are typically experienced as being categorically authoritative – i.e. as having a prescriptive force that (i) is motivationally gripping independently of both conventional norms and one’s pre-existing desires, and (ii) justificationally trumps both conventional norms and one’s pre-existing desires. We argue that this key feature is best accommodated by the meta-ethical position we call ‘cognitivist expressivism’, which construes moral judgments as sui generis psychological states whose distinctive phenomenological character includes categorical authoritativeness. Traditional versions of expressivism cannot easily accommodate the justificationally trumping aspect of categorical authoritativeness, because they construe moral judgments as fundamentally desire-like. Moral realism cannot easily accommodate the aspect of inherent motivational grip, because realism construes moral judgments as a species of factual belief.

AB - Moral judgments are typically experienced as being categorically authoritative – i.e. as having a prescriptive force that (i) is motivationally gripping independently of both conventional norms and one’s pre-existing desires, and (ii) justificationally trumps both conventional norms and one’s pre-existing desires. We argue that this key feature is best accommodated by the meta-ethical position we call ‘cognitivist expressivism’, which construes moral judgments as sui generis psychological states whose distinctive phenomenological character includes categorical authoritativeness. Traditional versions of expressivism cannot easily accommodate the justificationally trumping aspect of categorical authoritativeness, because they construe moral judgments as fundamentally desire-like. Moral realism cannot easily accommodate the aspect of inherent motivational grip, because realism construes moral judgments as a species of factual belief.

KW - Categorical authoritativeness

KW - expressivism

KW - moral judgment

KW - motivation

KW - phenomenology

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85042215676&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85042215676&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/00455091.2018.1432393

DO - 10.1080/00455091.2018.1432393

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85042215676

SP - 1

EP - 24

JO - Canadian Journal of Philosophy

JF - Canadian Journal of Philosophy

SN - 0045-5091

ER -