Seminar Series in Analytic Philosophy, 19-20, Session 5

Jussi Suikkanen

University of Birmingham

Normative Judgments, Motivation and Evolution

8 November 2019, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: I begin from a new taxonomy of the views that relate normative judgments to motivation. According to one state views, a positive normative judgment concerning an action consists in part of motivation to do that action. According to two state views, motivation is never an element of a positive normative judgment though such judgments can produce motivation. Finally, according to three state views, a normative judgment produces motivation only with the help of a third mental state. I then provide an evolutionary argument for the two state views. Normative judgments’ ability to shape our motivations enabled efficient planning and co-operation, which makes the psychological mechanism responsible for the adaptation a proximal mechanism. It is then more likely that we evolved to have a two state mechanism rather than a three state one because the former mechanism can be argued to be more reliable.