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  1. Agency, Shmagency: Why Normativity Won't Come From What Is Constitutive of Action.David Enoch - 2006 - Philosophical Review 115 (2):169-198.
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  • Constitutivism.Paul Katsafanas - forthcoming - In Iain Thomson & Kelly Becker (eds.), The Cambridge History of Philosophy, 1945–2015. Cambridge University Press.
    A brief explanation and overview of constitutivism.
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  • Teleology and Normativity.Matthew Silverstein - 2016 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 11:214-240.
    Constitutivists seek to locate the metaphysical foundations of ethics in nonnormative facts about what is constitutive of agency. For most constitutivists, this involves grounding authoritative norms in the teleological structure of agency. Despite a recent surge in interest, the philosophical move at the heart of this sort of constitutivism remains underdeveloped. Some constitutivists—Foot, Thomson, and Korsgaard (at least in her recent *Self-Constitution*)—adopt a broadly Aristotelian approach. They claim that the functional nature of agency grounds normative judgments about agents in much (...)
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  • Normative Reasons as Good Bases.Alex Gregory - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (9):2291-2310.
    In this paper, I defend a new theory of normative reasons called reasons as good bases, according to which a normative reason to φ is something that is a good basis for φing. The idea is that the grounds on which we do things—bases—can be better or worse as things of their kind, and a normative reason—a good reason—is something that is just a good instance of such a ground. After introducing RGB, I clarify what it is to be a (...)
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  • Agency and Normative Self-Governance.Matthew Silverstein - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3):517-528.
    We are agents: we can deliberate about what to do, and then act on the basis of that deliberation. We are also capable of normative self-governance: we can identify and respond to reasons as reasons. Many theorists believe that these two capacities are intimately connected. On the basis of this connection they conclude that practical reasoning must be carried out under the guise of a justification. This paper explores two strategies for avoiding that conclusion. The first, which just denies the (...)
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  • Autonomy and Radical Evil: A Kantian Challenge to Constitutivism.Wolfram Gobsch - 2019 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (2):194-207.
    Properly understood, Kant’s moral philosophy is incompatible with constitutivism. According to the constitutivist, being subject to the moral law cannot be a matter of free choice, and failure to c...
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  • What is Reliance?Facundo M. Alonso - 2014 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 (2):163-183.
    In this article I attempt to provide a conceptual framework for thinking about reliance in a systematic way. I argue that reliance is a cognitive attitude that has a tighter connection to the guidance of our thought and action than ordinary belief does. My main thesis is that reliance has a ‘constitutive aim’: namely, it aims at guiding our thought and action in a way that is sensible from the standpoint of practical or theoretical ends. This helps explain why reliance (...)
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  • Why Be an Agent?Evan Tiffany - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2):223 - 233.
    Constitutivism is the view that it is possible to derive contentful, normatively binding demands of practical reason and morality from the constitutive features of agency. Whereas much of the debate has focused on the constitutivist's ability to derive content, David Enoch has challenged her ability to generate normativity. Even if one can derive content from the constitutive aims of agency, one could simply demur: ?Bah! Agency, shmagency?. The ?Why be moral?? question would be replaced by the ?Why be an agent?? (...)
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  • The Shmagency Question.Matthew Silverstein - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1127-1142.
    Constitutivists hope to locate the foundations of ethics in the nature of action. They hope to find norms that are constitutive of agency. Recently David Enoch has argued that even if there are such norms, they cannot provide the last word when it comes to normativity, since they cannot tell us whether we have reason to be agents rather than shmagents. I argue that the force of the shmagency objection has been considerably overestimated, because philosophers on both sides of the (...)
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  • Responsabilité et autonomie. Étude critique de : Nomy Arpaly, Unprincipled Virtue. An Inquiry into Moral Agency, New York, Oxford University Press, 2003, 208 p.Étude critique de : Nomy Arpaly, Unprincipled Virtue. An Inquiry into Moral Agency, New York, Oxford University Press, 2003, 208 p. [REVIEW]François Schroeter - 2007 - Philosophiques 34 (2):403-418.
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  • Agency, Shmagency: Why Normativity Won't Come From What is Constitutive of Action.David Enoch - 2006 - Philosophical Review 115 (2):169-198.
    There is a fairly widespread—and very infl uential—hope among philosophers interested in the status of normativity that the solution to our metaethical and, more generally, metanormative problems will emerge from the philosophy of action. In this essay, I will argue that these hopes are groundless. I will focus on the metanormative hope, but—as will become clear—showing that the solution to our metanormative problems will not come from what is constitutive of action will also devastate the hope of gaining significant insight (...)
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  • Self-Validation and Internalism in Velleman’s Constitutivism.Michael Bukoski - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2667-2686.
    Metaethical constitutivists explain reasons or normativity in terms of what is constitutive of agency. In Velleman’s paradigmatic constitutivist theory, that is the aim of self-understanding. The best-known objection to constitutivism is Enoch’s shmagency objection: constitutivism cannot explain normativity because a constitutive aim of agency lacks normative significance unless one has reason to be an agent rather than a “shmagent”. In response, Velleman argues that the constitutive aim is self-validating. I argue that this claim is false. If the constitutive aim of (...)
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  • Constitutivism, Error, and Moral Responsibility in Bishop Butler's Ethics.David G. Dick - 2017 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (4):415-438.
    In his writings on moral philosophy, Bishop Joseph Butler adopts an identifiably “constitutivist” strategy because he seeks to ground normativity in features of agency. Butler's constitutivist strategy deserves our attention both because he is an influential precursor to much modern moral philosophy and because it sheds light on current debates about constitutivism. For example, Butler's approach can easily satisfy the “error constraint” that is often thought to derail modern constitutivist approaches. It does this by defining actions relative to the kind (...)
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