Reasons and impossibility

Philosophical Studies 136 (3):351-384 (2007)
Many philosophers claim that it cannot be the case that a person ought to perform an action if this person cannot perform this action. However, most of these philosophers do not give arguments for the truth of this claim. In this paper, I argue that it is plausible to interpret this claim in such a way that it is entailed by the claim that there cannot be a reason for a person to perform an action if it is impossible that this person will perform this action. I then give three arguments for the truth of the latter claim, which are also arguments for the truth of the former claim as I interpret it.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Religion   Philosophy of Mind   Epistemology   Logic   Philosophy
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DOI 10.2307/40208804
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References found in this work BETA
Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Rob van Someren Greve (2014). 'Ought', 'Can', and Fairness. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (5):913-922.
Jonathan Way (2012). Explaining the Instrumental Principle. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):487-506.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

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