Practical Reasons and Moral 'Ought'

In Russell Schafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, vol. II. Clarendon Press 172-194 (2007)
Morality is a source of reasons for action, what philosophers call practical reasons. Kantians say that it ‘gives’ reasons to everyone. We can even think of moral requirements as amounting to particularly strong or stringent reasons, in an effort to demystify deontological views like Kant’s, with its insistence on inescapable or ‘binding’ moral requirements or ‘oughts.’¹ When we say that someone morally ought not to harm others, perhaps all we are saying is that he has a certain kind of reason not to, one that wins out against any opposing reasons such as those touting benefits to him of ignoring others’ concerns
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