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How to Solve Prichard's Dilemma: A Complex Contractualist Account of Moral Motivation

by Travis Rieder

T. M. Scanlonís contractualist account of morality is articulated alongside and built upon groundbreaking work on moral motivation. According to Scanlon, the central challenge of providing an account of moral motivation is navigating ďPrichardís Dilemma,Ē which requires that an account be both (a) helpfully explanatory and (b) morally relevant. Scanlonís own solution is that one has a reason to act rightly because doing so is an aspect of living with others on terms they could accept. There is much to like about this account, and so, in this paper, I begin with many of Scanlonís assumptions. I then argue that Scanlonís own account of moral motivation fails to navigate Prichardís Dilemma, as does another solution that I derive from his broader view. I then close by suggesting that an account of moral motivation must be ďcomplex,Ē involving different reasons to satisfy the competing desiderata of Prichardís Dilemma.

ISSN 1559-3061
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