Reasons, rational requirements, and the putative pseudo-question “why be moral?”

Synthese 161 (2):309 - 323 (2008)
In this paper, I challenge a well-known argument for the view that “Why be moral?” is a pseudo-question. I do so by refuting a component of that argument, a component that is not only crucial to the argument but important in its own right. That component concerns the status of moral reasons in replies to “Why be moral?”; consequently, this paper concerns reasons and rationality no less than it concerns morality. The work I devote to those topics shows not only that the argument I address is unsound, but that the conclusion of that argument is false. “Why be moral?” is no pseudo-question.
Keywords Rationality  Practical reasons  Moral reasons  Reasons for action  Pseudo-questions  “Why be moral?”
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DOI 10.2307/27653694
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Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

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