“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”

Instant Access to Thousands of Journals for just $40/month

Try 2 weeks free now

Svavarsdóttir’s Burden



It is sometimes observed that the debate between internalists and externalists about moral motivation seems to have reached a deadlock. There are those who do, and those who don’t, recognize the intuitive possibility of amoralists: i.e. people having moral opinions without being motivated to act accordingly. This makes Sigrun Svavarsdóttir’s methodological objection to internalism especially interesting, since it promises to break the deadlock through building a case against internalism ( construed as a conceptual thesis ), not on such intuitions, but on a methodological principle for empirical investigations . According to the objection, internalists incur the burden of argument, since they have to exclude certain explanations of the (verbal and non-verbal) behavior of apparent amoralists, while externalists don’t. In this paper I argue that the objection fails: the principle for empirical investigations is plausible, but Svavarsdóttir’s application of it to internalism is not. Once we clearly distinguish between the conceptual and the empirical aspects of the internalist and externalist explanations of apparent amoralists, we see that these views incur an equal burden of explanation. I end the paper with a positive suggestion to the effect that there is a third alternative, a view that involves accepting neither internalism nor externalism, which does not incur an explanatory burden of the relevant sort.



PhilosophiaSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 1, 2012

DOI: 10.1007/s11406-011-9339-0

Free Preview of First Page

Loading next page...

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy unlimited access and
personalized recommendations from
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $40/month

Try 2 weeks free now

Explore the DeepDyve Library

How DeepDyve Works

Spend time researching, not time worrying you’re buying articles that might not be useful.

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from Springer, Elsevier, Nature, IEEE, Wiley-Blackwell and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Simple and Affordable Pricing

14-day free trial. Cancel anytime, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Best Deal — 25% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 25% off!
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.

billed annually