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  1. Inescapable Hinges: A Transcendental Hinge Epistemology.Luca Zanetti - forthcoming - In Nikolaj J. Pedersen & Luca Moretti (eds.), Non-Evidentialist Epistemology.
    In this paper I discuss a new kind of hinge epistemology which is called transcendental hinge epistemology. According to this view, hinges are immune from doubt because it is impossible to doubt them coherently, and this impossibility arises because any attempt to doubt them will presuppose their truth. Such an immunity is possessed only by inescapable hinges, that is, hinges that must be presupposed in every inquiry. I will argue that current hinge epistemologies fail to provide a satisfactory anti-sceptical strategy (...)
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  • Planning, Time, and Self-Governance: Essays in Practical Rationality.Michael Bratman - 2018 - Oup Usa.
    Our capacity for planning agency is central to our human lives. These essays aim both to deepen our understanding of basic norms that guide our plan-infused thinking and to defend their status as norms of practical rationality. This defense appeals both to forms of pragmatic support and to the ways in which these norms track conditions of a planning agent's self-governance, both at a time and over time.
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  • The Normativity of Instrumental Reason.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1997 - In Garrett Cullity & Berys Gaut (eds.), Ethics and Practical Reason. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
    This paper criticizes two accounts of the normativity of practical principles: the empiricist account and the rationalist or realist account. It argues against the empiricist view, focusing on the Humean texts that are usually taken to be its locus classicus. It then argues both against the dogmatic rationalist view, and for the Kantian view, through a discussion of Kant's own remarks about instrumental rationality in the second section of the Groundwork. It further argues that the instrumental principle cannot stand alone. (...)
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  • Normativity.J. J. Thomson - 2008 - Analysis 70 (4):713-715.
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  • Laws of Nature, Laws of Freedom, and the Social Construction of Normativity.Kenneth Walden - 2012 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 7:37.
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  • Agents and “Shmagents”: An Essay on Agency and Normativity.Connie S. Rosati - 2016 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 11.
    The idea that normativity and agency are importantly connected goes back at least as far as Kant. But it has recently become associated with a view called “constitutivism.” Perhaps the best-known critique of constitutivism appears in David Enoch’s article, “Agency, Shmagency,” which is the focus of this chapter. His critique of my article, “Agency and the Open Question Argument,” is briefly addressed, explaining why, contrary to his claims, I do not therein defend a form of constitutivism. It is then explained (...)
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  • Constitutivism and the Inescapability of Agency.Luca Ferrero - 2009 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 4:303-333.
    Constitutivism argues that the source of the categorical force of the norms of rationality and morality lies in the constitutive features of agency. A systematic failure to be guided by these norms would amount to a loss or lack of agency. Since we cannot but be agents, we cannot but be unconditionally guided by these norms. The constitutivist strategy has been challenged by David Enoch. He argues that our participation in agency is optional and thus cannot be a source of (...)
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  • Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity, and Integrity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
    Agency and identity -- Necessitation -- Acts and actions -- Aristotle and Kant -- Agency and practical identity -- The metaphysics of normativity -- Constitutive standards -- The constitution of life -- In defense of teleology -- The paradox of self-constitution -- Formal and substantive principles of reason -- Formal versus substantive -- Testing versus weighing -- Maximizing and prudence -- Practical reason and the unity of the will -- The empiricist account of normativity -- The rationalist account of normativity (...)
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  • Rationality as the Capacity for Understanding1.Karl Schafer - 2019 - Noûs 53 (3):639-663.
    In this essay, I develop and defend a virtue-theoretic conception of rationality as a capacity whose function is understanding, as opposed to mere truth or correctness. I focus on two main potential advantages of this view. First, its ability to explain the rationality of forms of explanatory reasoning, and second, its ability to offer a more unified account of theoretical and practical rationality.
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  • Meeting Constitutivists Halfway.Michael Ridge - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):2951-2968.
    Constitutivism is best understood as a strategy for meeting a set of related metanormative challenges, rather than a fully comprehensive metanormative theory in its own right, or so many have plausibly argued. Whether this strategy succeeds may depend, in part, on which broader metanormative theory it is combined with. In this paper I argue that combining constitutivism with expressivism somewhat surprisingly provides constitutivists with their best chances for success, and that this combination of views has some surprising benefits for both (...)
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  • Moral Rationalism and the Normativity of Constitutive Principles.Zachary Bachman - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (1):1-19.
    Recently, Christine Bratu and Mortiz Dittmeyer have argued that Christine Korsgaard’s constitutive project fails to establish the normativity of practical principles because it fails to show why a principle’s being constitutive of a practice shows that one ought to conform to that principle. They argue that in many cases a principle’s being constitutive of a practice has no bearing on whether one ought to conform to it. In this paper I argue that Bratu and Dittmeyer’s argument fails in three important (...)
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  • Shmagents, Realism and Constitutivism About Rational Norms.Emer O’Hagan - 2014 - Journal of Value Inquiry 48 (1):17-31.
    I defend constitutivism against two prominent objections and argue that agential constitutivism has the resources to take normative and ethical deliberation seriously. I first consider David Enoch’s shmagency challenge and argue that it does not form a coherent objection. I counter Enoch’s view that the phenomenology of first-person deliberation pragmatically justifies belief in irreducibly realist normative truths, claiming that constitutivism can respect the practice of moral deliberation without appeal to robustly realist truths. Secondly, I argue that the error theoretic worry (...)
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  • The Shmagency Question.Matthew Silverstein - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1127-1142.
    Constitutivists hope to locate the foundations of ethics in the nature of action. They hope to find norms that are constitutive of agency. Recently David Enoch has argued that even if there are such norms, they cannot provide the last word when it comes to normativity, since they cannot tell us whether we have reason to be agents rather than shmagents. I argue that the force of the shmagency objection has been considerably overestimated, because philosophers on both sides of the (...)
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  • Agency and the Foundations of Ethics: Nietzschean Constitutivism.Paul Katsafanas - 2013 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Paul Katsafanas explores how we can justify normative claims such as 'murder is wrong'. He defends an original account of constitutivism--the view that we do so by showing that agents become committed to them in virtue of acting--and resolves philosophical puzzles about the metaphysics, epistemology, and practical grip of normative claims.
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  • The Magic of Constitutivism.Michael Smith - 2015 - American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (2):187-200.
    Constitutivism is the view that we can derive a substantive account of normative reasons for action—perhaps a Kantian account, perhaps a hedonistic account, perhaps a desire-fulfillment account, this is up for grabs—from abstract premises about the nature of action and agency. Constitutivists are thus bound together by their conviction that such a derivation is possible, not by their agreement about which substantive reasons can be derived, and not by agreement about the features of action and agency that permit the derivation. (...)
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  • Constitutivism About Practical Reasons.Paul Katsafanas - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 367-394.
    This paper introduces constitutivism about practical reason, which is the view that we can justify certain normative claims by showing that agents become committed to these claims simply in virtue of acting. According to this view, action has a certain structural feature – a constitutive aim, principle, or standard – that both constitutes events as actions and generates a standard of assessment for action. We can use this standard of assessment to derive normative claims. In short, the authority of certain (...)
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  • The Varieties of Normativity.Derek Clayton Baker - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 567-581.
    This paper discusses varieties of normative phenomena, ranging from morality, to epistemic justification, to the rules of chess. It canvases a number of distinctions among these different normative phenomena. The most significant distinction is between formal and authoritative normativity. The prior is the normativity exhibited by any standard one can meet or fail to meet. The latter is the sort of normativity associated with phenomena like the "all-things-considered" ought. The paper ends with a brief discussion of reasons for skepticism about (...)
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  • How We Get Along.J. David Velleman - 2009 - Cambridge University Press.
    In How We Get Along, philosopher David Velleman compares our social interactions to the interactions among improvisational actors on stage. He argues that we play ourselves - not artificially but authentically, by doing what would make sense coming from us as we really are. And, like improvisational actors, we deal with one another in dual capacities: both as characters within the social drama and as players contributing to the shared performance. In this conception of social intercourse, Velleman finds rational grounds (...)
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  • Why Be an Agent?Evan Tiffany - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2):223 - 233.
    Constitutivism is the view that it is possible to derive contentful, normatively binding demands of practical reason and morality from the constitutive features of agency. Whereas much of the debate has focused on the constitutivist's ability to derive content, David Enoch has challenged her ability to generate normativity. Even if one can derive content from the constitutive aims of agency, one could simply demur: ?Bah! Agency, shmagency?. The ?Why be moral?? question would be replaced by the ?Why be an agent?? (...)
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  • Two Sorts of Constitutivism.Jeremy David Fix - 2021 - Analytic Philosophy 62 (1):1-20.
    Some things, but only some things, are by nature subject to standards. Why? I explain and develop what I call nature-first constitutivism, which says that what something is determines what it should be. Nature is the basis of normativity. I explain this view in terms of a unique type of property which particulars of a genus can lack even though those properties partially determines the nature of the genus. Such properties partially describe the nature of a genus and are thereby (...)
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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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  • Practical Reason Not as Such.Kenneth Walden - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (2).
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  • Constitutivism Without Normative Thresholds.Kathryn Lindeman - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 3 (XII):231-258.
    Constitutivist accounts in metaethics explain the normative standards in a domain by appealing to the constitutive features of its members. The success of these accounts turns on whether they can explain the connection between normative standards and the nature of individuals they authoritatively govern. Many such explanations presuppose that any member of a norm-governed kind must minimally satisfy the norms governing its kind. I call this the Threshold Commitment, and argue that constitutivists should reject it. First, it requires constitutivists to (...)
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  • Epistemic Schmagency?A. K. Flowerree - 2018 - In Christos Kyriacou & Robin McKenna (eds.), Metaepistemology: Realism & Antirealism. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 289-310.
    Constructivist approaches in epistemology and ethics offer a promising account of normativity. But constructivism faces a powerful Schmagency Objection, raised by David Enoch. While Enoch’s objection has been widely discussed in the context of practical norms, no one has yet explored how the Schmagency Objection might undermine epistemic constructivism. In this paper, I rectify that gap. First, I develop the objection against a prominent form of epistemic constructivism, Belief Constitutivism. Belief Constitutivism is susceptible to a Schmagency Objection, I argue, because (...)
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  • Can the Aim of Belief Ground Epistemic Normativity?Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3181-3198.
    For many epistemologists and normativity theorists, epistemic norms necessarily entail normative reasons. Why or in virtue of what do epistemic norms have this necessary normative authority? According to what I call epistemic constitutivism, it is ultimately because belief constitutively aims at truth. In this paper, I examine various versions of the aim of belief thesis and argue that none of them can plausibly ground the normative authority of epistemic norms. I conclude that epistemic constitutivism is not a promising strategy for (...)
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  • Constitutive Arguments.Ariela Tubert - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (8):656-666.
    Can the question "Why do what morality requires?" be answered in such a way that anyone regardless of their desires or interests has reason to be moral? One strategy for answering this question appeals to constitutive arguments. In general, constitutive arguments attempt to establish the normativity of rational requirements by pointing out that we are already committed to them insofar as we are believers or agents. This study is concerned with the general prospects for such arguments. It starts by explaining (...)
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  • Inescapability Revisited.Luca Ferrero - 2018 - Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 41 (4):113-158.
    According to constitutivism, the objective authority of practical reason is to be grounded in the constitutive features of agency. In this paper, I offer a brief survey of the basic structure of constitutive argument about objectivity and consider how constitutivism might dispel the worry that it can only ground a conditional kind of authority. I then consider David Enoch’s original shmagency challenge and the response in terms of the inescapability of agency. In particular, I revisit the appeal to inescapability in (...)
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  • Constitutivism and Normativity: A Qualified Defence.Stefano Bertea - 2013 - Philosophical Explorations 16 (1):81-95.
    In this article, I defend a meta-normative account of constitutivism by specifically addressing what I take to be a fundamental criticism of the constitutivist stance, namely, the objection that constitutive standards have conceptual, not normative, force, and so that no practical normativity can be extracted from them as constitutive of agency. In reply to this objection, I argue that the conceptual role of the standards constitutive of agency? their applying to us by virtue of our being the kinds of creatures (...)
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  • Doing Away with the “Shmagency” Objection to Constitutivism.Hille Paakkunainen - 2018 - Manuscrito 41 (4):431-480.
    Constitutivists attempt to ground reasons for action in the constitutive features of agency. Central to Enoch's famous “shmagency” objection to constitutivism is the idea that constitutivists should worry about the question whether there is reason to be an agent rather than a “shmagent”-where a shmagent is a non-agent being who lacks the constitutive features of agency, but is otherwise as similar to agents as can be. I explain why constitutivism isn’t in trouble even if there’s no reason to be an (...)
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  • Normativity and the Will to Power: Challenges for a Nietzschean Constitutivism.Andrew Huddleston - 2016 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 47 (3):435-456.
    The past decade and a half has seen a considerable flowering of interest in Nietzsche’s metaethics. In this time, Nietzsche has been presented with nearly as wide a range of views in metaethics as there are exegetical options on the table—views ranging from nihilism to subjective realism to expressivism to fictionalism to objective realism to, most recently, constructivism and constitutivism. Interpreters must square Nietzsche’s apparently skeptical remarks about the objectivity of value with his seeming commitment to a certain privileged set (...)
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  • Forms of Rational Agency.Douglas Lavin - 2017 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 80:171-193.
    A measure of good and bad is internal to something falling under it when that thing falls under the measure in virtue of what it is. The concept of an internal standard has broad application. Compare the external breed standards arbitrarily imposed at a dog show with the internal standards of health at work in the veterinarian's office. This paper is about practical standards, measures of acting well and badly, and so measures deployed in deliberation and choice. More specifically, it (...)
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  • Logic and the Laws of Thought.Jessica Leech - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15.
    An approach to explaining the nature and source of logic and its laws with a rich historical tradition takes the laws of logic to be laws of thought. This view seems intuitively compelling, after all, logic seems to be intimately related with how we think. But how exactly should we understand it? And what arguments can we give in favour? I will propose one line of argument for the claim that the laws of logic are laws of thought. I will (...)
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  • Constitutivism.Michael Smith - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 371-384.
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  • Shmagency Revisited.David Enoch - 2011 - In Michael Brady (ed.), New Waves in Metaethics. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    1. The Shmagency Challenge to Constitutivism In metaethics – and indeed, meta-normativity – constitutivism is a family of views that hope to ground normativity in norms, or standards, or motives, or aims that are constitutive of action and agency. And mostly because of the influential work of Christine Korsgaard and David Velleman, constitutivism seems to be gaining grounds in the current literature. The promises of constitutivism are significant. Perhaps chief among them are the hope to provide with some kind of (...)
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  • Why Be Rational&Quest.Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.
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  • Morality, Self-Constitution, and the Limits of Integrity.David Sussman - 2015 - In Robert Louden & Beatrix Himmelmann (eds.), Why Be Moral? De Gruyter. pp. 123-140.
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