The Standard-Relational Theory of 'Ought' and the Oughtistic Theory of Reasons

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (1):131-147 (2011)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
The idea that normative statements implicitly refer to standards has been around for quite some time. It is usually defended by normative antirealists, who tend to be attracted to Humean theories of reasons. But this is an awkward combination: 'A ought to X' entails that there are reasons for A to X, and 'A ought to X all things considered' entails that the balance of reasons favours X-ing. If the standards implicitly referred to are not those of the agent, then why would these entailments hold? After all, Humeanism says that 'A has a reason to X' is true if and only if A has some desire which is furthered by X-ing. In this paper, I develop a standard-relational theory of 'ought' and a non-Humean theory of reasons (oughtism). Together, they explain why 'A ought to X' entails not only that there are reasons for A to X, but also that the balance of reasons favours X-ing. The latter explanation depends on a theory of weight, in which the weight of a reason depends on the position of a rule (standard) in an order of priorities. The theories are truth-conditional, but do not require objective normative facts for the truth of 'ought' judgments and judgments about reasons.
Keywords
No keywords specified (fix it)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
EVETST
Revision history
Archival date: 2011-05-02
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Moral Relativism and Moral Objectivity.Harman, Gilbert & Thomson, Judith Jarvis

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2010-08-27

Total views
292 ( #11,373 of 42,191 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
26 ( #23,161 of 42,191 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.