- The following propositions seem both plausible in their own right and apparently inconsistent:
- Moral judgements like 'It is right that I Φ' ('valuations' for short) express beliefs; in this case, a belief about the rightness of my Φ-ing.
- There is some sort of a necessary connection between being in the state the judgement 'It is right that I Φ' expresses and having a motivating reason, not necessarily overriding, to Φ.
- Motivating reasons are constituted, inter alia, by desires.
- The apparent inconsistency can be brought out as follows. From (1), the state expressed by a valuation is a belief, which, from (2), is necessarily connected in some way with having a motivating reason; that is, from (3), with having a desire.
- So (1), (2) and (3) together entail that there is some sort of necessary connection between distinct existences: a certain kind of belief and a certain kind of desire. But there is no such connection. Believing some state of the world obtains is one thing, what I desire to do in the light of that belief is quite another. Therefore we have to reject at least one of (1), (2) or (3).
- Call this the 'moral problem', and call those who respond 'revisionists' and 'reconciliationists'.
- Revisionists accept the inconsistency, and so seek to explain away the apparent plausibility of at least one of (1), (2) and (3). ….
- By contrast reconciliationists deny the inconsistency. Prominent amongst reconciliationists are those who accept a dispositional theory of value, a theory that purports to analyse value in terms of a disposition to take a favourable psychological attitude towards certain actions or outcomes under suitable conditions. …
Three way Symposium: "Dispositional Theories of Value". See also:-
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