Fittingness: The sole normative primitive

Philosophical Quarterly 62 (249):684 - 704 (2012)
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Abstract

This paper draws on the 'Fitting Attitudes' analysis of value to argue that we should take the concept of fittingness (rather than value) as our normative primitive. I will argue that the fittingness framework enhances the clarity and expressive power of our normative theorising. Along the way, we will see how the fittingness framework illuminates our understanding of various moral theories, and why it casts doubt on the Global Consequentialist idea that acts and (say) eye colours are normatively on a par. We will see why even consequentialists, in taking rightness to be in some sense determined by goodness, should not think that rightness is conceptually reducible to goodness. Finally, I will use the fittingness framework to explicate the distinction between consequentialist and deontological theories, with particular attention to the contentious case of Rule Consequentialism.

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Richard Y. Chappell
University of Miami

Citations of this work

Opting for the Best: Oughts and Options.Douglas W. Portmore - 2019 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
Fittingness First.Conor McHugh & Jonathan Way - 2016 - Ethics 126 (3):575-606.
The Game of Belief.Barry Maguire & Jack Woods - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (2):211-249.
Reasons as Premises of Good Reasoning.Jonathan Way - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (2).
Fittingness.Christopher Howard - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (11):e12542.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The moral problem.Michael Smith - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell.
Principia ethica.George Edward Moore - 1903 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Thomas Baldwin.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.

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