If You're Quasi-Explaining, You're Quasi-Losing

In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics 16. Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Normative discourse frequently involves explanation. For example, we tell children that hitting is wrong because it hurts people. In a recent paper, Selim Berker argues that to account for this kind of explanation, expressivists need an account of normative grounding. Against this, I argue that expressivists should eschew grounding and stick to a more pragmatic picture of explanation, one that focuses on how we use explanatory speech acts to communicate information. I propose that the standard form of a normative explanation is a generalizing explanation, one which shows a particular moral injunction to follow from a more general injunction. I use Marc Lange’s account of unifying explanations in mathematics as a model for the canonical form of a normative explanation, but also to establish that logical entailment can be explanatory, so long as premises entailing the conclusion answer appropriately to our interests. An additional upshot of the resulting view is that it paves the way for a purely metaphysical solution to the problem of creeping minimalism. Quasireal properties are those that, unlike real properties, stand outside of the metaphysical hierarchy of grounding relations.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Grounding and Normative Explanation.Pekka Väyrynen - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):155-178.
Expressivism and Realist Explanations.Camil Golub - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (6):1385-1409.
Grounding and Metaphysical Explanation.Naomi Thompson - 2016 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 116 (3):395-402.
Normative explanation unchained.Pekka Väyrynen - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (2):278-297.
Metaphysical Explanation by Constraint.Michael Bertrand - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (6):1325-1340.
Explaining right and wrong.Geoffrey Ferrari - 2008 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
Is backing grounding?Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2020 - Ratio 33 (3):129-137.
The ground of ground, essence, and explanation.Michael Wallner - 2021 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 6):1257-1277.
Reasons why in normative explanation.Pekka Väyrynen - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (6):607-623.
Grounding-mechanical explanation.Kelly Trogdon - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1289-1309.
Explanation.Martin Glazier - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. London: pp. 121-132.


Added to PP

443 (#33,905)

6 months
94 (#24,308)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Derek Baker
Lingnan University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references