David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (4):521 - 531 (2012)
Most moral philosophers agree that if a moral agent is incapable of performing some act ϕ because of a physical incapacity, then they do not have a reason to ϕ. Most also claim that if an agent is incapable of ϕ-ing due to a psychological incapacity, brought about by, for example, an obsession or phobia, then this does not preclude them from having a reason to ϕ. This is because the 'ought implies can' principle is usually interpreted as a claim about physical, rather than psychological, capacities. In this paper I argue for an opposing view: if we don't have reasons to do things that we are physically incapable of doing, then neither do we have reasons to do things we are psychologically incapable of doing. I also argue that extending the 'ought implies can' principle to psychological capacities makes the principle more attractive.
|Keywords||Reasons for action Capacities Ought implies can Korsgaard Pettit Smith|
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References found in this work BETA
Robert Nozick (1993). The Nature of Rationality. Princeton University Press.
Michael J. Zimmerman (1996). The Concept of Moral Obligation. Cambridge University Press.
Christine M. Korsgaard (1986). Skepticism About Practical Reason. Journal of Philosophy 83 (1):5-25.
Joshua Gert (2004). Brute Rationality: Normativity and Human Action. Cambridge University Press.
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