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  1. The Authority of Formality.Jack Woods - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13.
    Etiquette and other merely formal normative standards like legality, honor, and rules of games are taken less seriously than they should be. While these standards are not intrinsically reason-providing in the way morality is often taken to be, they also play an important role in our practical lives: we collectively treat them as important for assessing the behavior of ourselves and others and as licensing particular forms of sanction for violations. This chapter develops a novel account of the normativity of (...)
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  • Authoritatively Normative Concepts.Tristram McPherson - forthcoming - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics. Oxford University Press.
    This paper offers an analysis of the authoritatively normative concept PRACTICAL OUGHT that appeals to the constitutive norms for the activity of non-arbitrary selection. I argue that this analysis permits an attractive and substantive explanation of what the distinctive normative authority of this concept amounts to. I contrast my account with more familiar constitutivist theories, and briefly show how it answers ‘schmagency’-style objections to constitutivist explanations of normativity. Finally, I explain how the account offered here can be used to help (...)
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  • Moral Worth and Knowing How to Respond to Reasons.J. J. Cunningham - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    It’s one thing to do the right thing. It’s another to be creditable for doing the right thing. Being creditable for doing the right thing requires that one does the right thing out of a morally laudable motive and that there is a non-accidental fit between those two elements. This paper argues that the two main views of morally creditable action – the Right Making Features View and the Rightness Itself View – fail to capture that non-accidentality constraint: the first (...)
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  • The Type-B Moral Error Theory.Anthony Robert Booth - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.
    I introduce a new version of Moral Error Theory, which I call Type-B Moral Error Theory. According to a Type-B theorist there are no facts of the kind required for there to be morality in stricto sensu, but there can be irreducible ‘normative’ properties which she deems, strictly speaking, to be morally irrelevant. She accepts that there are instrumental all things considered oughts, and categorical pro tanto oughts, but denies that there are categorical all things considered oughts on pain of (...)
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  • A Puzzle About Enkratic Reasoning.Jonathan Way - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Enkratic reasoning – reasoning from believing that you ought to do something to an intention to do that thing – seems good. But there is a puzzle about how it could be. Good reasoning preserves correctness, other things equal. But enkratic reasoning does not preserve correctness. This is because what you ought to do depends on your epistemic position, but what it is correct to intend does not. In this paper, I motivate these claims and thus show that there is (...)
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  • Standard and Alternative Error Theories About Moral Reasons.Kipros Lofitis - 2020 - Ratio 33 (1):37-45.
    An error theory about moral reasons is the view that ordinary thought is committed to error, and that the alleged error is the thought that moral norms (expressing alleged moral requirements) invariably supply agents with sufficient normative reasons (for action). In this paper, I sketch two distinct ways of arguing for the error theorist's substantive conclusion that moral norms do not invariably supply agents with sufficient normative reasons. I am primarily interested in the somewhat neglected way, which I call the (...)
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  • Deliberative Authority and Representational Determinacy: A Challenge for the Normative Realist.Tristram McPherson - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
    Controversy about the credibility of normative realism is endemic to contemporary metaethics. Some take realism to be “obviously, the default position,” while others, to put it mildly, do not., In the face of such persistent controversy, it can be valuable to step back from the myriad arguments for and against realism, and seek to understand the challenges that face this view in their deepest and most general form. This paper aims to achieve this deeper understanding with respect to a pair (...)
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  • Ardent Realism Without Referential Normativity.Tristram McPherson - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-20.
    This paper addresses a central positive claim in Matti Eklund’s Choosing Normative Concepts: that a certain kind of metaphysically ambitious realist about normativity – the ardent realist – is committed to the metasemantic idea that the distinctive inferential role of normative concepts suffices to fix the extension of those concepts. I argue first that commitment to this sort of inferential role metasemantic view does nothing to secure ardent realism. I then show how the ardent realist can address Eklund’s leading challenge (...)
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  • Akrasia and Epistemic Impurism.James Fritz - 2021 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (1):98-116.
    This essay provides a novel argument for impurism, the view that certain non-truth-relevant factors can make a difference to a belief's epistemic standing. I argue that purists, unlike impurists, are forced to claim that certain ‘high-stakes’ cases rationally require agents to be akratic. Akrasia is one of the paradigmatic forms of irrationality. So purists, in virtue of calling akrasia rationally mandatory in a range of cases with no obvious precedent, take on a serious theoretical cost. By focusing on akrasia, and (...)
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  • Normative Explanation Unchained.Pekka Väyrynen - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    [This paper is available as open access from the publisher.] Normative theories aim to explain why things have the normative features they have. This paper argues that, contrary to some plausible existing views, one important kind of normative explanations which first-order normative theories aim to formulate and defend can fail to transmit downward along chains of metaphysical determination of normative facts by non-normative facts. Normative explanation is plausibly subject to a kind of a justification condition whose satisfaction may fail to (...)
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  • Reasons: Wrong, Right, Normative, Fundamental.Kurt Sylvan & Errol Lord - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 15 (1).
    Reasons fundamentalists maintain that we can analyze all derivative normative properties in terms of normative reasons. These theorists famously encounter the Wrong Kind of Reasons problem, since not all reasons for reactions seem relevant for reasons-based analyses. Some have argued that this problem is a general one for many theorists, and claim that this lightens the burden for reasons fundamentalists. We argue in this paper that the reverse is true: the generality of the problem makes life harder for reasons fundamentalists. (...)
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  • On the Normative Significance of the Aims of Religious Practice.Joona Auvinen - 2021 - Zygon 56 (1):118-138.
    During the last decades it has been common to assert—especially in the field of science and religion—that the aims characteristic of religious practice determine the norms we should employ when evaluating its normative status. However, until now, this issue has not been properly investigated by paying attention to contemporary metanormative research. In this article, I critically examine how different popular theories of normativity relate to the proposed normative significance of the aims characteristic of religious practice. I argue that whether or (...)
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  • Ardent Realism Without Referential Normativity.Tristram McPherson - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (5):489-508.
    ABSTRACT This paper addresses a central positive claim in Matti Eklund’s Choosing Normative Concepts: that a certain kind of metaphysically ambitious realist about normativity – the ardent realist – is committed to the metasemantic idea that the distinctive inferential role of normative concepts suffices to fix the extension of those concepts. I argue first that commitment to this sort of inferential role metasemantic view does nothing to secure ardent realism. I then show how the ardent realist can address Eklund’s leading (...)
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  • Socratic Reductionism in Ethics.Nicholas Smyth - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (4):970-985.
    In this paper, I clarify and defend a provocative hypothesis offered by Bernard Williams, namely, that modern people are much more likely to speak in terms of master-concepts like “good” or “right,” and correspondingly less likely to think and speak in the pluralistic terms favored by certain Ancient societies. By conducting a close reading of the Platonic dialogues Charmides and Laches, I show that the figure of Socrates plays a key historical role in this conceptual shift. Once we understand that (...)
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  • Normative Pluralism Worthy of the Name is False.Spencer Case - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (1):1-20.
    Normative pluralism is the view that practical reason consists in an irreducible plurality of normative domains, that these domains sometimes issue conflicting recommendations and that, when this happens, there is never any one thing that one ought simpliciter to do. Here I argue against this view, noting that normative pluralism must be either unrestricted or restricted. Unrestricted pluralism maintains that all coherent standards are reason-generating normative domains, whereas restricted pluralism maintains that only some are. Unrestricted pluralism, depending on how it (...)
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  • Normative Roles, Conceptual Variance, and Ardent Realism About Normativity.David Plunkett - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (5):509-534.
    ABSTRACT In Choosing Normative Concepts, Eklund considers a “variance thesis” about our most fundamental normative concepts. This thesis raises the threat of an alarming symmetry between different sets of normative concepts. If this symmetry holds, it would be incompatible with “ardent realism” about normativity. Eklund argues that the ardent realist should appeal to the idea of “referential normativity” in response to this challenge. I argue that, even if Eklund is right in his core arguments on this front, many other important (...)
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  • Weighing Epistemic and Practical Reasons for Belief.Christopher Howard - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2227-2243.
    This paper is about how epistemic and practical reasons for belief can be compared against one another when they conflict. It provides a model for determining what one ought to believe, all-things-considered, when there are conflicting epistemic and practical reasons. The model is meant to supplement a form of pluralism about doxastic normativity that I call ‘Inclusivism’. According to Inclusivism, both epistemic and practical considerations can provide genuine normative reasons for belief, and both types of consideration can contribute to metaphysically (...)
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  • Which Moral Properties Are Eligible for Perceptual Awareness?Preston J. Werner - 2020 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 17 (3):290-319.
    Moral perception has made something of a comeback in recent work on moral epistemology. Many traditional objections to the view have been argued to fail upon closer inspection. But it remains an open question just how far moral perception might extend. In this paper, I provide the beginnings of an answer to this question by assessing the relationship between the metaphysical structure of different normative properties and a plausible constraint on which properties are eligible for perceptual awareness which I call (...)
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  • The Normative Error Theorist Cannot Avoid Self-Defeat.Spencer Case - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (1):92-104.
    Many philosophers have noted that normative error theorists appear to be committed to saying ‘Error theory is true, but I have no reason to believe it’, which seems paradoxical. In defence of error...
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  • Unifying Group Rationality.Matthew Kopec - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6:517-544.
    Various social epistemologists employ what seem to be rather distinct notions of group rationality. In this essay, I offer an account of group rationality that is able to unify the dominant notions present in the literature under a single framework. I argue that if we employ a teleological account of epistemic rationality, and then allow that there are many different epistemic goals that are worth pursuing for various groups and individuals, we can then see how those seemingly divergent understandings of (...)
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  • Mere Formalities: Normative Fictions and Normative Authority.Daniel Wodak - forthcoming - Canadian Journal of Philosophy:1-23.
    It is commonly said that some standards, such as morality, are ‘normatively authoritative’ in a way that other standards, such as etiquette, are not; standards like etiquette are said to be ‘not really normative’. Skeptics deny the very possibility of normative authority, and take claims like ‘etiquette is not really normative’ to be either empty or confused. I offer a different route to defeat skeptics about authority: instead of focusing on what makes standards like morality special, we should focus on (...)
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