Footing the Cost (of Normative Subjectivism)

In Jussi Suikkanen & Antti Kauppinen (eds.), Methodology and Moral Philosophy. Routledge (forthcoming)
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I defend normative subjectivism against the charge that believing in it undermines the functional role of normative judgment. In particular, I defend it against the claim that believing that our reasons change from context to context is problematic for our use of normative judgments. To do so, I distinguish two senses of normative universality and normative reasons---evaluative universality and reasons and ontic universality and reasons. The former captures how even subjectivists can evaluate the actions of those subscribing to other conventions; the latter explicates how their reasons differ from ours. I then show that four aspects of the functional role of normativity---evaluation of our and others actions and reasons, normative communication, hypothetical planning, and evaluating counternromative conditionals---at most requires our normative systems being evaluatively universal. Yet reasonable subjectivist positions need not deny evaluative universality.
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