David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Oxford University Press (2013)
Constitutivism is the view that we can derive substantive normative conclusions from an account of the nature of action. Agency and the Foundations of Ethics explains the constitutivist strategy and argues that the attractions of this view are considerable: constitutivism promises to resolve longstanding philosophical puzzles about the metaphysics, epistemology, and practical grip of normative claims. Yet constitutivism faces a challenge: it must employ a conception of action that is minimal enough to be independently plausible, but substantial enough to yield robust normative results. The current versions of constitutivism fall short on this score. However, we can generate a successful version by employing a more nuanced theory of action. Drawing on recent empirical work on human motivation as well as a model of agency indebted to the work of Nietzsche, the book argues that every episode of action aims jointly at agential activity and power. An agent manifests agential activity if she approves of her action, and further knowledge of the motives figuring in the etiology of her action would not undermine this approval. An agent aims at power if she aims at encountering and overcoming obstacles or resistances in the course of pursuing other, more determinate ends. These structural features of agency both constitute events as actions and generate standards of assessment for action. Using these results, the book shows that we can extract substantive normative claims from facts about the nature of agency.
|Keywords||constitutivism agency ethics normativity action Nietzsche practical reason|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Buy the book||$30.00 used (60% off) $31.98 new (58% off) $70.91 direct from Amazon (6% off) Amazon page|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Ryan Kemp (2015). The Self-Transformation Puzzle: On the Possibility of Radical Self-Transformation. Res Philosophica 92 (2):389-417.
Karl Schafer (2015). Realism and Constructivism in Kantian Metaethics : The Kantian Conception of Rationality and Rationalist Constructivism. Philosophy Compass 10 (10):702-713.
Matthew Silverstein (2015). The Shmagency Question. Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1127-1142.
Andrew McAninch (2015). Activity, Passivity, and Normative Avowal. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (1).
Andrew James McAninch (2015). Acting for a Reason and Following a Principle. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (3):649-661.
Similar books and articles
Paul Katsafanas (2011). Deriving Ethics From Action: A Nietzschean Version of Constitutivism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (3):620-660.
Stefano Bertea (2013). Constitutivism and Normativity: A Qualified Defence. Philosophical Explorations 16 (1):81-95.
Evan Tiffany (2012). Why Be an Agent? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2):223 - 233.
David Enoch (2011). Shmagency Revisited. In Michael Brady (ed.), New Waves in Metaethics. Palgrave Macmillan
Paul Katsafanas (2014). Nietzsche and Kant on the Will: Two Models of Reflective Agency. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):185-216.
Luca Ferrero (2009). Constitutivism and the Inescapability of Agency. Oxford Studies in Metaethics 4:303-333.
Paul Katsafanas (2011). The Concept of Unified Agency in Nietzsche, Plato, and Schiller. Journal of the History of Philosophy 49 (1):87-113.
Christine M. Korsgaard (2009). Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity, and Integrity. Oxford University Press.
Nadeem J. Z. Hussain (2004). Review: Discussion: "The Guise of a Reason". [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 121 (3):263 - 275.
Christoph Lumer & Sandro Nannini (2007). Intentionality, Deliberation and Autonomy: The Action-Theoretic Basis of Practical Philosophy. Ashgate Publishing.
Joshua M. Wood (2014). Hume and the Metaphysics of Agency. Journal of the History of Philosophy 52 (1):87-112.
Markus E. Schlosser (2010). Agency, Ownership, and the Standard Theory. In A. Buckareff, J. Aguilar & K. Frankish (eds.), New Waves in the Philosophy of Action. Palgrave Macmillan 13-31.
Hugh J. McCann (1998). The Works of Agency: On Human Action, Will, and Freedom. Cornell University Press.
Alfred R. Mele (2005). Motivation and Agency: Precis. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 123 (3):243–247.
Paul Katsafanas (2011). Activity and Passivity in Reflective Agency. In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics Volume 6. Oxford 219.
Added to index2012-04-11
Total downloads67 ( #60,146 of 1,789,930 )
Recent downloads (6 months)13 ( #63,620 of 1,789,930 )
How can I increase my downloads?