Skepticism about Ought Simpliciter

Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13 (2018)
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Abstract

There are many different oughts. There is a moral ought, a prudential ought, an epistemic ought, the legal ought, the ought of etiquette, and so on. These oughts can prescribe incompatible actions. What I morally ought to do may be different from what I self-interestedly ought to do. Philosophers have claimed that these conflicts are resolved by an authoritative ought, or by facts about what one ought to do simpliciter or all-things-considered. However, the only coherent notion of an ought simpliciter has preposterous first-order normative commitments. It is more reasonable to reject the ought simpliciter in favor of the form of normative pluralism advocated in (Tiffany 2007).

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Derek Baker
Lingnan University

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