Factualism, Normativism and the Bounds of Normativity

Dialogue 50 (2):347-365 (2011)
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Abstract

The paper argues that applications of the principle that “ought” implies “can” (OIC) depend on normative considerations even if the link between “ought” and “can” is logical in nature. Thus, we should reject a common, “factualist” conception of OIC and endorse weak “normativism”. Even if we use OIC as the rule ““cannot” therefore “not ought””, applying OIC is not a mere matter of facts and logic, as factualists claim, but often draws on “proto-ideals” of moral agency.

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Thomas M. Besch
Wuhan University

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