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The Varieties of Normativity

In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 567-581 (2017)

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  1. Normativity.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 2007 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 2:240-266.
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  • Constructivism About Reasons.Sharon Street - 2008 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 3:207-45.
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  • An Outline of an Argument for Robust Metanormative Realism.David Enoch - 2007 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 2:21-50.
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  • Voluntarist Reasons and the Sources of Normativity.Ruth Chang - 2009 - In David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.), Reasons for Action. Cambridge University Press. pp. 243-71.
    This paper investigates two puzzles in practical reason and proposes a solution to them. First, sometimes, when we are practically certain that neither of two alternatives is better than or as good as the other with respect to what matters in the choice between them, it nevertheless seems perfectly rational to continue to deliberate, and sometimes the result of that deliberation is a conclusion that one alternative is better, where there is no error in one’s previous judgment. Second, there are (...)
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  • What's Special About Humeanism.Donald C. Hubin - 1999 - Noûs 33 (1):30-45.
    One of the attractions of the Humean instrumentalist theory of practical rationality is that it appears to offer a special connection between an agent's reasons and her motivation. The assumption that Humeanism is able to assert a strong connection between reason and motivation has been challenged, most notably by Christine Korsgaard. She argues that Humeanism is not special in the connection it allows to motivation. On the contrary, Humean theories of practical rationality do connect reasons and motivation in a unique (...)
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  • Against Quietist Normative Realism.Tristram McPherson - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (2):223-240.
    Recently, some philosophers have suggested that a form of robust realism about ethics, or normativity more generally, does not face a significant explanatory burden in metaphysics. I call this view metaphysically quietist normative realism . This paper argues that while this view can appear to constitute an attractive alternative to more traditional forms of normative realism, it cannot deliver on this promise. I examine Scanlon’s attempt to defend such a quietist realism, and argue that rather than silencing metaphysical questions about (...)
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  • Oughts and Ends.Stephen Finlay - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 143 (3):315 - 340.
    This paper advances a reductive semantics for ‘ought’ and a naturalistic theory of normativity. It gives a unified analysis of predictive, instrumental, and categorical uses of ‘ought’: the predictive ‘ought’ is basic, and is interpreted in terms of probability. Instrumental ‘oughts’ are analyzed as predictive ‘oughts’ occurring under an ‘in order that’ modifer (the end-relational theory). The theory is then extended to categorical uses of ‘ought’: it is argued that they are special rhetorical uses of the instrumental ‘ought’. Plausible conversational (...)
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  • Weighing Reasons.Errol Lord & Barry Maguire (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford University Press USA.
    Normative reasons have become a popular theoretical tool in recent decades. One helpful feature of normative reasons is their weight. The fourteen new essays in this book theorize about many different aspects of weight. Topics range from foundational issues to applications of weight in debates across philosophy.
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  • Beyond "Justification": Dimensions of Epistemic Evaluation.William P. Alston - 2005 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
    " In a book that seeks to shift the ground of debate within theory of knowledge, William P. Alston finds that the century-lo.
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  • Constructivism About Reasons.Sharon Street - 2008 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: Volume Iii. Oxford University Press.
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  • The Constitution of Agency: Essays on Practical Reason and Moral Psychology.Christine M. Korsgaard - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
    Christine M. Korsgaard is one of today's leading moral philosophers: this volume collects ten influential papers by her on practical reason and moral psychology ...
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  • Reasons Without Rationalism.Kieran Setiya - 2007 - Princeton University Press.
    Modern philosophy has been vexed by the question "Why should I be moral?" and by doubts about the rational authority of moral virtue. In Reasons without Rationalism, Kieran Setiya shows that these doubts rest on a mistake. The "should" of practical reason cannot be understood apart from the virtues of character, including such moral virtues as justice and benevolence, and the considerations to which the virtues make one sensitive thereby count as reasons to act. Proposing a new framework for debates (...)
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  • Normativity.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 2008 - Open Court.
    Goodness -- Goodness properties -- Expressivism -- Betterness relations -- Virtue/kind properties -- Correctness properties (acts) -- Correctness properties (mental states) -- Reasons-for (mental states) -- Reasons-for (acts) -- On some views about "ought" : relativism, dilemmas, means-ends -- On some views about "ought" : belief, outcomes, epistemic ought -- Directives -- Addendum 1: "Red" and "good" -- Addendum 2: Correctness -- Addendum 3: Reasons -- Addendum 4: Reasoning.
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  • Appearances of the Good: An Essay on the Nature of Practical Reason.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
    'We desire all and only those things we conceive to be good; we avoid what we conceive to be bad.' This slogan was once the standard view of the relationship between desire or motivation and rational evaluation. Many critics have rejected this scholastic formula as either trivial or wrong. It appears to be trivial if we just define the good as 'what we want', and wrong if we consider apparent conflicts between what we seem to want and what we seem (...)
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  • What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
    In this book, T. M. Scanlon offers new answers to these questions, as they apply to the central part of morality that concerns what we owe to each other.
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  • From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis.Frank Jackson - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
    Frank Jackson champions the cause of conceptual analysis as central to philosophical inquiry. In recent years conceptual analysis has been undervalued and widely misunderstood, suggests Jackson. He argues that such analysis is mistakenly clouded in mystery, preventing a whole range of important questions from being productively addressed. He anchors his argument in discussions of specific philosophical issues, starting with the metaphysical doctrine of physicalism and moving on, via free will, meaning, personal identity, motion, and change, to ethics and the philosophy (...)
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  • Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives.Philippa Foot - 1972 - Philosophical Review 81 (3):305-316.
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  • On the Aim of Belief.J. David Velleman - manuscript
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  • Agency, Shmagency: Why Normativity Won't Come From What Is Constitutive of Action.David Enoch - 2006 - Philosophical Review 115 (2):169-198.
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  • Utilitarianism.J. S. Mill - 1861 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Introduction to one of the most important, controversial, and suggestive works of moral philosophy ever written.
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  • The Ring of Gyges: Overridingness and the Unity of Reason*: David Copp.David Copp - 1997 - Social Philosophy and Policy 14 (1):86-106.
    Does morality override self-interest? Or does self-interest override morality? These questions become important in situations where there is conflict between the overall verdicts of morality and self-interest, situations where morality on balance requires an action that is contrary to our self-interest, or where considerations of self-interest on balance call for an action that is forbidden by morality. In situations of this kind, we want to know what we ought simpliciter to do. If one of these standpoints over-rides the other, then (...)
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  • Why Be Rational.Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.
    Normativity involves two kinds of relation. On the one hand, there is the relation of being a reason for. This is a relation between a fact and an attitude. On the other hand, there are relations specified by requirements of rationality. These are relations among a person's attitudes, viewed in abstraction from the reasons for them. I ask how the normativity of rationality—the sense in which we ‘ought’ to comply with requirements of rationality—is related to the normativity of reasons—the sense (...)
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  • Internalism Exposed.Alvin I. Goldman - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (6):271-293.
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  • Moral Relativism Defended.Gilbert Harman - 1975 - Philosophical Review 84 (1):3-22.
    Gilbert Harman has recently proposed a version of moral relativism which is markedly clearer than any earlier statement of that position. Besides consistency and clarity, Harman claims for his thesis a number of positive virtues. The thesis, He argues, "helps explain otherwise puzzling aspects of our moral views"; it accounts for "a previously unnoticed distinction between inner and non-Inner judgments"' and it allows us to meet traditional objections to related theories. In this paper, I argue that none of these alleged (...)
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  • Moral Naturalism.Jimmy Lenman - manuscript
    While "moral naturalism" is sometimes used to refer to any approach to metaethics intended to cohere with naturalism in metaphysics more generally, the label is more usually reserved for naturalistic forms of moral realism according to which there are objective moral facts and properties and these moral facts and properties are natural facts and properties. Views of this kind appeal to many as combining the advantages of naturalism and realism but have seemed to many others to do inadequate justice to (...)
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  • Normative Requirements.John Broome - 1999 - Ratio 12 (4):398–419.
    Normative requirements are often overlooked, but they are central features of the normative world. Rationality is often thought to consist in acting for reasons, but following normative requirements is also a major part of rationality. In particular, correct reasoning – both theoretical and practical – is governed by normative requirements rather than by reasons. This article explains the nature of normative requirements, and gives examples of their importance. It also describes mistakes that philosophers have made as a result of confusing (...)
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  • An Opinionated Guide to the Weight of Reasons.Barry Maguire & Errol Lord - 2016 - In Weighing Reasons.
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  • Internalism Exposed.Alvin I. Goldman - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (6):271-293.
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  • Realism and Constructivism in Twentieth-Century Moral Philosophy.Christine M. Korsgaard - 2003 - Journal of Philosophical Research 28 (Supplement):99-122.
    In this paper I trace the development of one of the central debates of late twentieth-century moral philosophy—the debate between realism and what Rawls called “constructivism.” Realism, I argue, is a reactive position that arises in response to almost every attempt to give a substantive explanation of morality. It results from the realist’s belief that such explanations inevitably reduce moral phenomena to natural phenomena. I trace this belief, and the essence of realism, to a view about the nature of concepts—that (...)
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  • Vindicating the Normativity of Rationality.Nicholas Southwood - 2008 - Ethics 119 (1):9-30.
    I argue that the "why be rational?" challenge raised by John Broome and Niko Kolodny rests upon a mistake that is analogous to the mistake that H.A. Pritchard famously claimed beset the “why be moral?” challenge. The failure to locate an independent justification for obeying rational requirements should do nothing whatsoever to undermine our belief in the normativity of rationality. I suggest that we should conceive of the demand for a satisfactory vindicating explanation of the normativity of rationality instead in (...)
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  • Deflationary Normative Pluralism.Evan Tiffany - 2007 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (Supplement):231-262.
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  • From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis.Robert Stalnaker - 1998 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):631-636.
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  • The Ethics of Belief.Richard Feldman - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (3):667-695.
    In this paper I will address a few of the many questions that fall under the general heading of “the ethics of belief.” In section I I will discuss the adequacy of what has come to be known as the “deontological conception of epistemic justification” in the light of our apparent lack of voluntary control over what we believe. In section II I’ll defend an evidentialist view about what we ought to believe. And in section III I will briefly discuss (...)
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  • The Normativity of Rationality.Jonathan Way - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (12):1057-1068.
    This article is an introduction to the recent debate about whether rationality is normative – that is, very roughly, about whether we should have attitudes which fit together in a coherent way. I begin by explaining an initial problem – the “detaching problem” – that arises on the assumption that we should have coherent attitudes. I then explain the prominent “wide-scope” solution to this problem, and some of the central objections to it. I end by considering the options that arise (...)
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  • The Ethics of Belief.Richard Feldman - 2000 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 60 (3):667-695.
    In this paper I will address a few of the many questions that fall under the general heading of “the ethics of belief.” In section I I will discuss the adequacy of what has come to be known as the “deontological conception of epistemic justification” in the light of our apparent lack of voluntary control over what we believe. In section II I’ll defend an evidentialist view about what we ought to believe. And in section III I will briefly discuss (...)
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  • Reasons Without Rationalism.Kieran Setiya - 2009 - Analysis 69 (3):509-510.
    Reasons without Rationalism has two related parts, devoted to action theory and ethics, respectively. In the second part, I argue for a close connection between reasons for action and virtues of character. This connection is mediated by the idea of good practical thought and the disposition to engage in it. The argument relies on the following principle, which is intended as common ground: " Reasons: The fact that p is a reason for A to ϕ just in case A has (...)
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  • Incoherence and Irrationality.Donald Davidson - 1985 - Dialectica 39 (4):345-54.
    * [Irrationality]: ___ Irrationality, like rationality, is a normative concept. Someone who acts or reasons irrationally, or whose beliefs or emotions are irrational, has departed from a standard.
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  • Humean Doubts About the Practical Justification of Morality.James Dreier - 1997 - In Garrett Cullity & Berys Gaut (eds.), Ethics and Practical Reason. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 81-100.
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  • Incoherence and Irrationality.Donald Davidson - 1985 - Dialectica 39 (4):345-354.
    Summary To judge a belief, emotion, or action irrational is to make a normative judgment. Can such judgments be objective? It is argued that in an important class of cases they can be. The cases are those in which a person has a set of attitudes which are inconsistent by his or her own standards, and those standards are constitutive of the attitudes. Constitutive standards are standards with which an agents' attitudes and intentional actions must generally accord if judgments of (...)
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