Moral realism, normative reasons, and rational intelligibility

Erkenntnis 57 (1):47-69 (2002)
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This paper concerns a prima facie tension between the claims that (a) agents have normative reasons obtaining in virtue of the nature of the options that confront them, and (b) there is a non-trivial connection between the grounds of normative reasons and the upshots of sound practical reasoning. Joint commitment to these claims is shown to give rise to a dilemma. I argue that the dilemma is avoidable on a response dependent account of normative reasons accommodating both (a) and (b) by yielding (a) as a substantial constraint on sound practical reasoning. This fact is shown to have significance for the contemporary dialectic between moral realists and their opponents.

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Hallvard Lillehammer
Birkbeck College, University Of London


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