Why de dicto desires are fetishistic

Xiao Zhang

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    Abstract

    Internalists and externalists fundamentally disagree about how moral judgments motivate. Internalists think that morally good people should have de re desires to do right things, and agents who are motivated by the de dicto desire to do whatever is right are moral fetishists. In contrast, externalists accept that morally good people can have both the relevant de re and de dicto desires. My aim is to provide an argument for internalism, which goes beyond the context in which both sides currently debate the relevant de re and de dicto desires. I will first introduce R. Jay Wallace's understanding of a fetish, according to which to have a fetish is to devote interest and attention to objects that do not deserve such responses. Then, I will argue that the relevant de dicto desire in the debate is fetishistic because rightness itself is not a worthwhile goal to have in our moral deliberation and motivation. Moral agents who are motivated by the de dicto desire to do whatever is right, even if partly, still count as moral fetishists.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalRatio
    Early online date1 Jun 2021
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jun 2021

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