The Ockham Society (Week 2, HT23)

Ockham Society

Michael Stocker famously argued that the values, or rational justifications for action, provided by ‘modern ethical theories’ diverge from motives that are required for important interpersonal relationships, such as friendship and love. Thus, he presented modern ethical theories with the following dilemma: their adherents must either forgo interpersonal relationships, or must forgo a psychological harmony of value and motive. The latter horn of the dilemma involves a moral psychology Stocker pejoratively termed ‘moral schizophrenia’. However, the exact nature of this moral psychology, and why it is thought to be problematic, remain unclear. In this talk, I will explore different ways of characterising ‘moral schizophrenia’ and examine possible ways to buttress claims that it is problematic.