A dilemma for Parfit's conception of normativity

Analysis 72 (3):466-474 (2012)
In his discussion of normative concepts in the first part of On What Matters ( 2011 , On What Matters , vol. 1. New York: Oxford University Press), Parfit holds that apart from the ‘ought’ of decisive reason, there are other senses of ‘ought’ which do not imply any reasons. This claim poses a dilemma for his ‘reason-involving conception’ of normativity: either Parfit has to conclude that non-reason-implying ‘oughts’ are not normative. Or else he is forced to accept that normativity needs only to involve ‘apparent reasons’ – a certain kind of hypothetical truths about reasons. I argue that both of these options are inacceptable. In the course of the discussion, I present a general objection to ‘apparent reason accounts’ of the normativity of rationality as advocated not only by Parfit, but also by Schroeder (2009) and Way (2009)
Keywords reasons  apparent reasons  Derek Parfit  normativity  ought  rationality
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DOI 10.1093/analys/ans065
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Tim Henning (2014). Normative Reasons Contextualism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (3):593-624.

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