Making Moral Judgements is about the relation between moral judgements and
motivation. It addresses an apparent tension between the internalist view that
there is a necessary connection between moral judgements and motivation and
the cognitivist view that such judgements express beliefs about how the world
is morally. This thesis argues that to resolve this tension we need first to
distinguish the act of making a moral judgement from the content of a moral
judgement. Act internalism asserts a necessary connection between the act of
making a moral judgement and motivation. This is perfectly consistent with
there being no connection between the truth of moral propositions -the content
of moral judgements - and motivation. The act internalist approach is
developed using speech act theory. Speech acts that do more than simply state
facts or express motivating states are ubiquitous in our linguistic practice.
Moral judgements can be construed as a type of compound speech act that
involves assertion and motivation. This approach, it is argued, can help us
better understand the complexities of moral motivation and of moral practice.
On the speech act approach, in making a moral judgement an agent goes
beyond description or cognition in holding herself and others to account with
regard to a moral requirement. To be able to do this, the agent must be
generally susceptible to a range of reactive attitudes that make up the point of
view of normative participation. It is in relation to this participant point of
view that we can account for the capacity of agents to be motivated by moral
considerations. And it is with regard to this point of view that internalism is
best understood as an expression of our interested or participatory relation to
moral deliberation and moral practice.