• University of Oslo
    Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas
Lund University
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 2004
Oslo, Norway
Areas of Specialization
  •  1363
    An Internalist Dilemma—and an Externalist Solution
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (1): 25-51. 2012.
    In this paper, I argue that internalism about moral judgments and motivation faces a dilemma. On the one hand, a strong version of internalism is able to explain our conception of the connection between moral language and motivation, but fails to account for the notion that people who suffer from certain mental conditions need not be accordingly motivated. On the other hand, a weaker form of internalism avoids this difficulty, but fails to explain the mentioned conception concerning moral langua…Read more
  •  1084
    Is Moral Internalism Supported by Folk Intuitions?
    with Fredrik Björklund
    Philosophical Psychology 26 (3): 319-335. 2013.
    In the metaethical debate on moral internalism and externalism, appeal is constantly made to people’s intuitions about the connection between moral judgments and motivation. However, internalists and externalists disagree considerably about their content. In this paper, we present an empirical study of laymen’s intuitions about this connection. We found that they lend surprisingly little support to the most celebrated versions of internalism, which provide reasons to be skeptical of the evidenti…Read more
  •  1075
    A Dual Aspect Account of Moral Language
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (1): 87-122. 2012.
    It is often observed in metaethics that moral language displays a certain duality in as much as it seems to concern both objective facts in the world and subjective attitudes that move to action. In this paper, I defend The Dual Aspect Account which is intended to capture this duality: A person’s utterance of a sentence according to which φing has a moral characteristic, such as “φing is wrong,” conveys two things: The sentence expresses, in virtue of its conventional meaning, the belief that φi…Read more
  •  841
    The Pragmatics of Moral Motivation
    The Journal of Ethics 15 (4): 341-369. 2011.
    One of the most prevalent and influential assumptions in metaethics is that our conception of the relation between moral language and motivation provides strong support to internalism about moral judgments. In the present paper, I argue that this supposition is unfounded. Our responses to the type of thought experiments that internalists employ do not lend confirmation to this view to the extent they are assumed to do. In particular, they are as readily explained by an externalist view according…Read more
  •  733
    A Structural Disanalogy between Aesthetic and Ethical Value Judgements
    British Journal of Aesthetics 51 (1): 51-67. 2010.
    It is often suggested that aesthetic and ethical value judgements are similar in such a way that they should be analysed in analogous manners. In this paper, I argue that the two types of judgements share four important features concerning disagreement, motivation, categoricity, and argumentation. This, I maintain, helps to explain why many philosophers have thought that aesthetic and ethical value judgements can be analysed in accordance with the same dispositional scheme which corresponds to t…Read more
  •  686
    The main aim of this thesis is to defend moral realism. In chapter 1, I argue that moral realism is best understood as the view that moral sentences have truth-value, there are moral properties that make some moral sentences true, and moral properties are not reducible to non- moral properties. Realism is contrasted with non-cognitivism, error-theory and reductionism, which, in brief, deny, and, respectively. In the introductory chapter, it is also argued that there are some prima facie reasons …Read more
  •  614
    Expressivism and Dispositional Desires
    American Philosophical Quarterly 49 (1): 81-91. 2012.
    According to a persistent objection against metaethical expressivism, this view is committed to a strong version of internalism which is unable to account for cases where a person’s moral judgment and motivation come apart. Recently, leading expressivists have argued that they can meet this objection by maintaining that moral judgments consist in non-cognitive states that motivate in normal conditions. In this paper, it is maintained that an important dimension of internalism has, on the whole, …Read more
  •  579
    Options for Hybrid Expressivism
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (1): 91-111. 2015.
    In contemporary metaethics, various versions of hybrid expressivism have been proposed according to which moral sentences express both non-cognitive attitudes and beliefs. One important advantage with such positions, its proponents argue, is that they, in contrast to pure expressivism, have a straightforward way of avoiding the Frege-Geach problem. In this paper, I provide a systematic examination of different versions of hybrid expressivism with particular regard to how they are assumed to evad…Read more
  •  563
    Particularism and Supervenience
    In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Oxford University Press. 2008.
    One of our most fundamental notions of morality is that in so far as objects have moral properties, they have non-moral properties that make them have moral properties. Similarly, objects have moral properties in virtue of or because of having non-moral properties, and moral properties depend on non-moral properties. In ethics it has generally been assumed that this relation can be accounted for by the supervenience of moral properties on non-moral properties. However, this assumption is put int…Read more
  •  337
    In defence of the open question argument
    The Journal of Ethics 8 (2): 179-196. 2004.
    The purpose of this paper is to defend G. E. Moore's open question argument, understood as an argument directed against analytic reductionism, the view that moral properties are analytically reducible to non-moral properties. In the first section I revise Moore's argument in order to make it as plausible and resistant against objections as possible. In the following two sections I develop the argument further and defend it against the most prominent objections raised against it. The conclusion o…Read more
  •  187
    Aesthetic Internalism and two Normative Puzzles
    Studi di Estetica 6 23-70. 2016.
    One of the most discussed views in metaethics is Moral Internalism, according to which there is a conceptually necessary connection between moral judgments and motivation to act. Moral Internalism is regarded to yield the prime argument against Moral Cognitivism and for Moral Non-Cognitivism. In this paper, I investigate the significance of the corresponding claim in metaaesthetics. I pursue two lines of argument. First, I argue that Aesthetic Internalism – the view that there is a conceptually …Read more
  •  143
    Externalism and the content of moral motivation
    Philosophia 35 (2): 249-260. 2007.
    In his fetishist argument, Michael Smith raises an important question: What is the content of the motivational states that constitute moral motivation? Although the argument has been widely discussed, this question has not received the attention it deserves. In the present paper, I use Smith’s argument as a point of departure for a discussion of how advocates of externalism as regards moral judgements can account for moral motivation. More precisely, I explore various explanations of moral motiv…Read more
  •  135
    Internalism and the Frege-Geach Problem
    Belgrade Philosophical Annual 32 68-91. 2019.
    According to the established understanding of the Frege-Geach problem, it is a challenge exclusively for metaethical expressivism. In this paper, I argue that it is much wider in scope: The problem applies generally to views according to which moral sentences express moral judgments entailing that one is for or against something, irrespective of what mental states the judgments consist in. In particular, it applies to motivational internalism about moral judgments. Most noteworthy, it applies to…Read more
  •  119
    Motivational Internalism (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2015.
    Motivational internalism—the idea that there is an intrinsic or necessary connection between moral judgment and moral motivation—is a central thesis in a number of metaethical debates. In conjunction with a Humean picture of motivation, it provides a challenge for cognitivist theories that take moral judgments to concern objective aspects of reality. Versions of internalism have potential implications for moral absolutism, realism, non-naturalism, and rationalism. Being a constraint on more deta…Read more
  •  87
    Motivational Internalism: Contemporary Debates
    In Gunnar Björnsson, Caj Strandberg, Ragnar Francén Olinder, John Eriksson & Fredrik Björklund (eds.), Motivational Internalism, Oxford University Press. 2015.
    Motivational internalism—the idea that moral judgments are intrinsically or necessarily connected to motivation—has played a central role in metaethical debates. In conjunction with a Humean picture of motivation, internalism has provided a challenge for theories that take moral judgments to concern objective aspects of reality, and versions of internalism have been seen as having implications for moral absolutism, realism, and rationalism. But internalism is a controversial thesis, and the appa…Read more
  •  81
    Towards an Ecumenical Theory of Normative Reasons
    Dialectica 72 (1): 69-100. 2018.
    A theory of normative reasons for action faces the fundamental challenge of accounting for the dual nature of reasons. On the one hand, some reasons appear to depend on, and vary with, desires. On the other hand, some reasons appear categorical in the sense of being desire‐independent. However, it has turned out to be difficult to provide a theory that accommodates both these aspects. Internalism is able to account for the former aspect, but has difficulties to account for the latter, whereas ex…Read more
  •  70
    A Puzzle About Reasons and Rationality
    The Journal of Ethics 21 (1): 63-88. 2017.
    According to a guiding idea in metaethics, there is a necessary link between the concept of normative reasons and the concept of practical rationality. This notion brings up two issues: The exact nature of this link, and the nature of rationality. With regard to the first issue, the debate is dominated by a certain standard claim. With regard to the second issue, the debate is dominated by what I will refer to as ‘subjectivism’ and ‘objectivism’ about rationality, where the latter is assumed to …Read more
  •  65
    Can the Embedding Problem Be Generalized?
    Acta Analytica 30 (1): 1-15. 2015.
    One of the most discussed challenges to metaethical expressivism is the embedding problem. It is widely presumed that the reason why expressivism faces this difficulty is that it claims that moral sentences express non-cognitive states, or attitudes, which constitute their meaning. In this paper, it is argued that the reason why the embedding problem constitutes a challenge to expressivism is another than what it usually is thought to be. Further, when we have seen the real reason why expressivi…Read more
  •  58
    An Ecumenical Account of Categorical Moral Reasons
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 16 (2): 160-188. 2019.
    According to an influential way of understanding the debate between internalism and externalism about normative reasons, these theories confront us with a dilemma. Internalism is taken to involve a view about rationality which is considered less philosophically problematic than its competitors, whereas externalism is taken to suggest a more contentious view concerning this notion. However, the assumption that externalism involves a more demanding notion of rationality implies that it is able to …Read more
  •  50
    Inspired by an analogy between moral and secondary properties, some moral philosophers have argued that moral properties are dispositions. According to one version of this view, most clearly represented by Jonathan Dancy, a moral property is the property of being such, having base properties such, that an entity with the property elicits morally merited and motivating responses. Its proponents have argued that this notion can explain how moral judgements can be objective in the sense of expressi…Read more
  •  43
    Metaethical subjectivism – Richard double
    Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229). 2007.
  •  40
    Two Conceptions of Inequality
    Philosophical Papers 30 (2). 2001.
    Abstract Following Temkin's Inequality I take my point of departure in an individualistic approach according to which a situation is bad in respect of inequality to the extent individuals in it have egalitarian complaints. After having criticised some of Temkin's notions of inequality, I argue that there are two proper egalitarian conceptions, the Equal Share Conception and the Place Conception. The first concerns how much welfare an individual can claim to have in order to have what she should …Read more
  •  32
    Moral blame and rational criticism
    European Journal of Philosophy. forthcoming.
    A central issue in practical philosophy concerns the relation between moral blameworthiness and normative reasons. As there has been little of direct exchange between the debate on reasons and the debate on blameworthiness, this topic has not received the attention it deserves. In this paper, I consider two notions about blameworthiness and reasons that are fundamental in respective field. The two notions might seem incontrovertible when considered individually, but I argue that they together en…Read more
  •  17
    Verkets mening och tolkarens val
    Nordic Journal of Aesthetics 11 (19). 1999.
  •  11
    Moral Realism, written by Kevin DeLapp (review)
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (2): 217-220. 2017.