The Buck-Passing Stops Here

In Rationis Defensor (2012)
Thomas Scanlon influentially argues that, in the provision of reasons to act or believe, goodness and value ‘pass the buck’ to other properties. This paper first extends his arguments: if Scanlon shows that goodness and value pass the buck, then relevantly analogous arguments show that, contrary to Scanlon, duty and wrongness too pass this same buck. The paper then reverses Scanlon’s buck-passing arguments: if they show that goodness and value pass the reason-providing buck, then reasons themselves also pass the buck for providing goodness, value, duty, and wrongness. What to make of all this? The paper argues for scepticism about the significance of Scanlon’s buck-passing arguments for ethics.
Keywords Scanlon  Value  Pass the Buck  Goodness  Duty
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Similar books and articles
Jonas Olson (2006). G. E. Moore on Goodness and Reasons. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (4):525 – 534.
Philip Stratton-Lake & Brad Hooker (2006). Scanlon Versus Moore on Goodness. In Terry Horgan & Mark Timmons (eds.), Metaethics After Moore. Oxford University Press 149.
Jonas Olson (2004). Buck-Passing and the Wrong Kind of Reasons. Philosophical Quarterly 54 (215):295–300.

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