David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophia 37 (2):227-243 (2009)
The distinction between the agent-relative and the agent-neutral plays a prominent role in recent attempts to taxonomize normative theories. Its importance extends to most areas in practical philosophy, though. Despite its popularity, the distinction remains difficult to get a good grip on. In part this has to do with the fact that there is no consensus concerning the sort of objects to which we should apply the distinction. Thomas Nagel distinguishes between agent-neutral and agent-relative values, reasons, and principles; Derek Parfit focuses on normative theories (and the aims they provide to agents), David McNaughton and Piers Rawling focus on rules and reasons, Skorupski on predicates, and there are other suggestions too. Some writers suspect that we fundamentally talk about one and the same distinction. This work is about practical reasons for action rather than theoretical reasons for belief. Moreover, focus is on whether reasons do or do not essentially refer to particular agents. A challenge that undermines the dichotomy in this sense is posed. After having rejected different attempts to defend the distinction, it is argued that there is a possible defence that sets out from Jonathan Dancy’s recent distinction between enablers and favourers.
|Keywords||Agent-relative Agent-neutral Reasons Motivating reasons Justifying reasons-normative Normative reasons Apparent reasons Dancy Favourer Enabler|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Thomas Nagel (1986). The View From Nowhere. Oxford University Press.
Jonathan Dancy (2004). Ethics Without Principles. Oxford University Press.
Derek Parfit (1984). Reasons and Persons. Oxford University Press.
Jonathan Dancy (1993). Moral Reasons. Blackwell.
T. Nagel (1970). Possibility of Altruism. Princeton University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen (2009). On for Someone's Sake Attitudes. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (4):397 - 411.
Similar books and articles
Jennie Louise (2004). Relativity of Value and the Consequentialist Umbrella. Philosophical Quarterly 54 (217):518–536.
Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen (2011). Reasons and Two Kinds of Fact. In Sliwinski Rysiek & Svensson Frans (eds.), Neither/Nor - Philosophical Papers Dedicated to Erik Carlson on the Occasion of His Fiftieth Birthday. Uppsala Philosophical Studies 95 - 113.
Douglas W. Portmore (2001). McNaughton and Rawling on the Agent-Relative/Agent-Neutral Distinction. Utilitas 13 (03):350-356.
Vaughn E. Huckfeldt (2007). Categorical and Agent-Neutral Reasons in Kantian Justifications of Morality. Philosophia 35 (1):23-41.
Michael Cholbi (1999). Egoism and the Publicity of Reason: A Reply to Korsgaard. Social Theory and Practice 25 (3):491-517.
Joshua Gert (2002). Korsgaard's Private-Reasons Argument. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2):303-324.
Daan Evers (2009). Humean Agent-Neutral Reasons? Philosophical Explorations 12 (1):55 – 67.
Douglas W. Portmore (forthcoming). Agent-Relative Vs. Agent-Neutral. In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley Blackwell
Stephen Finlay (2006). The Reasons That Matter. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (1):1 – 20.
Michael Ridge, Reasons for Action: Agent-Neutral Vs. Agent-Relative. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads53 ( #64,560 of 1,727,166 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #118,705 of 1,727,166 )
How can I increase my downloads?