AQA Philosophy A2 Level

Moral Philosophy

How do people justify their actions? How do we understand truth and the application to morality? If truth is external to the individual how do we respond to it? If truth is internal from the individual how we know what is really true? How should we apply these to moral situation?

This part of the course will look at the concept that moral concepts can be understood as being objective. These moral concepts are external to the individual. We need to take account of how the individual is to then respond to these moral truths.

  Text Box: Morals exist outside individual

What types of moral truths are there?

7. Motiation and justification of moral action

Key themes


  • Justifying i.e. why are they good or right actions?
    • Act utilitarianism – action is right if brings about greatest happiness. Do you help a friend because it brings about happiness for all or do you help friend because he is your friend
  • Motivate: desire
    • A truth in and of itself does not motivate action. You need to care about the truth, and then the motivating force comes from the caring
    • Desires!!
    • Moral judgments = not motivating in and of themselves as they are only motivating to those who care about them
    • Relational!! If moral reason = what we have reason to do they will motivate us as they are reasons for us. As long as rational, reasons will motivate us directly. However – will we always do what we have reason to do most! (I.e. Internalist vs. Externalist!)