Motive and right action
van Zyl, L. (2010). Motive and right action. Philosophia, 38(2), 405-415.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/4077
Some philosophers believe that a change in motive alone is sometimes sufficient to bring about a change in the deontic status (rightness or wrongness) of an action. I refer to this position as ‘weak motivism’, and distinguish it from ‘strong’ and ‘partial motivism’. I examine a number of cases where our intuitive judgements appear to support the weak motivist’s thesis, and argue that in each case an alternative explanation can be given for why a change in motive brings about (or, in some cases, appears to bring about) a change in deontic status.