Moral Motivation: Evidence and Relevance

May 18, 2012 - May 20, 2012
Department of Philosophy, Linguistics, and Theory of Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Olof Wijksgatan 5
Gothenburg, Sweden

View the Call For Papers


James Dreier
Brown University
Jeanette Kennett
Macquarie University
Jesse Prinz
City University of New York
Michael Ridge
University of Edinburgh
Michael Smith
Princeton University
Sigrún Svavarsdóttir
Ohio State University
Jon Tresan
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Nick Zangwill
Durham University


Gunnar Björnsson
University of Gothenburg, Sweden
University of Oslo

Topic areas

Talks at this conference

Add a talk


The relation between moral judgments and moral motivation is a central issue in ethical theory. According to motivational internalism, making a moral judgment implies being motivated to act accordingly, at least under normal circumstances. The truth of motivational internalism is highly contested, and often taken to have implications for the nature of moral emotions and moral judgments, the meaning of normative terms, and the possibility of objective truth and knowledge in morality.

During the last two decades, various new forms of motivational internalism have raised questions both about possible sources of evidence for and against these forms, and about the metaethical relevance of a defensible internalism. Some forms seem to be straightforward empirical claims, making traditional a priori arguments for or against internalism suspect; other forms make it unclear how internalism would favor moral anti-realism over realism. (For an overview of recent work on motivational internalism, see this Analysis paper.)

The conference Moral Motivation: Evidence and Relevance will bring together senior and junior scholars working on both issues of evidence and issues of relevance.


Last day of registration: May 1.

Conference venue: Department of Philosophy, Linguistics, and Theory of Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Address: Olof Wijksgatan 6, Gothenburg.

Duration: The conference lasts for three days: Friday, May 18 – Sunday, May 20, starting Friday morning (approximately 8.15 AM) and ending Sunday evening (approximately 18.30 PM).

Registration fee: 360 SEK (approximately $55 or €40). The fee covers refreshments and three lunches.

Conference dinner (Saturday, May 19): 500 SEK (approximately $75 or €55).

Registration fee, including three lunches and refreshments, plus conference dinner: 860 SEK (approximately $130 or €95).

To register, please email: [email protected]

In your email, please indicate if you want to join the conference dinner and, if so, whether you have any particular preferences (e.g. vegan) or allergies. When we have received your email, you will get the details regarding payment.

Details of the conference, including program and abstracts, will shortly be available at:


• Gunnar Björnsson (Umeå University and University of Gothenburg): Practicality versus Absolutist Cognitivism

• James Dreier (Brown University): Can Reasons Fundamentalism Answer the Normative Question?

• Daniel Eggers (University of Cologne): Strong motivational internalism and Hume’s lesson

• Antti Kauppinen (Trinity College, Dublin): Internalism About Intuitions, Externalism About Judgments

• Jeanette Kennett (Macquarie University): Moral Motivation and Its Impairments: Empirical and Philosophical Approaches

• Kate Manne (Harvard Society of Fellows): Tempered Internalism and Practical Identification

• John Mumm (Fordham University): Two Functions of Moral Language: Rethinking the Amoralist

• John Park (Duke University): The Motivational Judgment Internalism/Externalism Debate & Methodological Naturalism

• Jesse Prinz (CUNY): An Empirical Case for Emotionally Based Internalism

• Michael Ridge (University of Edinburgh): Internalism: Cui Bono?

• Michael Smith (Princeton University): Moral Judgements, Judgements about Reasons, and Motivations

• Sigrún Svavarsdóttir (Ohio State University): Detecting Value with Motivational Responses

• Teemu Toppinen (University of Helsinki): Pure Expressivism and Practical Reason

• Jon Tresan (UNC Chapel Hill): Objective Moral Realism & The Role-Individuation of Moral Judgments

• Ariela Tubert (University of Puget Sound): Reasons Internalism and Sound Advice

• Nick Zangwill (Durham University): Essence, Agent-Causation and Motivational Externalism

The conference is organized by the MMER project and the Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science, University of Gothenburg. It is sponsored by the Wenner-Gren Foundations. For further information about the MMER project, please go to:

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)




May 1, 2012, 9:00am CET

Who is attending?

No one has said they will attend yet.

Will you attend this event?

Let us know so we can notify you of any change of plan.

RSVPing on PhilEvents is not sufficient to register for this event.