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Externalism Argument And Philippa Foot (Essay Sample)


This semester’s readings focus on what other scholars and essayists think about the arts, and how they write critically about--and in--the arts. This last major assignment asks you to make your own argument about yourself as a learner--a writer, a reader. But, as we’ve discussed all semester, good argument occurs within a conversation, and all writing is a conversation on the page.

So, to make your writer’s philosophy an informed, academically-persuasive response, first you must describe an ongoing debate – this will help you frame your philosophical response to the debate or to the perspectives within it. Next you will contribute to this debate with evidence-based reasoning. Remember, in any given essay, a thesis (claim) must present your own unique argument with logical evidence to back up that argument.


Externalism argument and Philippa Foot.
In this paper I will explain the dispute for reason externalism about morality by Philippa Foot. In addition to that I will also give a major objection and try to offer an amendment to the argument in order to offer a response to the objection.
One of the main issues in meta-ethics is how morality and the reasons for acting relate to each other. A reason is a consideration in favor of taking a particular action and it is therefore the justification for performing a certain action, (Barnes, 2017). If there is a reason to undertake a particular action, then an individual has justification unless there are other strong reasons that require performing a different action. The argument that holds that reasons are built into morality is the reason internalism and the argument that denies that there is a connection between morality and a reason for taking action is the reason externalism.
There are various aspects of reason internalism about morality. There is a divide between substantive internalism which argues that there are objective moral facts that contain the reason for actions while criterial internalism is the view that reasons for taking actions are built within the meaning of morality, (Barnes, 2017). There is also a division between fact internalism which argues that reasons are built within moral facts while judgment internalism holds that morals are built into the judgement that morality requires a certain way of conduct. There is also a division where overriding reason internalism holds that morality contains reasons that are very strong and irrational to ignore while weak reason internalism holds that morality has reasons that are sometimes outweighed by strong reasons.
Philippa Foot in her work “Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives,” opposes the Kantian view which is a substantive overriding reason judgment internalism about morality. Foot's view is that an individual has a reason to do what is in their best interest and satisfies their desires and that the individual has the reason to do nothing else. This view should not be confused with the views of moral irrealist philosophers like John Mackie who argue that morality does not have a reason for action since objective moral facts don't exist, (Foot, 2012). Foot is a moral realist who denies the connection between morality and reason for action but believes that there are objective moral facts. Since foot mainly responds to Kant's view, she overlooks the likelihood of morality providing a weak re

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