Ethics, Fitting Attitudes, and Practical Reason: A Theory of Normative Facts

Dissertation, University of Michigan (2009)
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Abstract
I present and defend (1) an account of ethical judgments as judgments about our reasons to feel specific motivationally laden attitudes, (2) an account of what an agent should do in terms of what would achieve ends that she has reason to be motivated to pursue, and (3) an account of an agent’s reasons for motivation (and thus action) in terms of the prescriptions of the most fundamental principles that guide her deliberations. Using these accounts, I explain the connection between ethics and reasons for action, how ethical judgments are both descriptive and intrinsically motivating, and how ethical facts arise from facts about agents’ deliberations.
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