Attitudes with Both Directions of Fit

Attitudes with Both Directions of Fit - Smith is that...

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Attitudes with Both Directions of Fit Some philosophers want to acknowledge the possibility of states that are both belief like and desire like; ‘besires’ as they are sometimes called. It is sometimes thought that moral judgments are like this: moral judgments are truly judgments, and hence are a kind of belief; but at the same time they involve a disposition to change the world in a certain way (moral internalism). Smith’s argument is that these states are incoherent, since no state can simultaneously have both directions of fit. But that seems to muddle up the content of the states which are supposed to have the different directions of fit. A belief that, say, racism is wrong, doesn’t bring with it a desire to change the world so that it was no longer the case that racism is wrong. Rather it brings a desire to change the world so that there is less racism in it. So the argument that is left for
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Unformatted text preview: Smith is that admitting such states brings us no explanatory advantage, and so we shouldn’t admit them; an application of Ockham’s razor. Smith’s later work In a subsequent book (The Moral Problem) Smith tried to reconcile the Humean theory of motivation with moral internalism (i.e. the thesis that moral beliefs are essentially motivating). Very briefly, his line is that to make a moral judgment that an action is good is to judge that one would desire to perform that action if one were fully rational; and then to argue that rational agents will desire what they judge they will desire if rational. So beliefs and desires are still quite distinct, though rational agents will come to desire what they judge good....
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