Mind 117 (466):257-265 (2008)

Roger Crisp
Oxford University
This paper concerns the relation between goodness, or value, and practical reasons, and in particular the so-called ‘buck-passing’ account (BPA) of that relation recently offered by T. M. Scanlon, according to which goodness is not reason-providing but merely the higher-order property of possessing lower-order properties that provide reasons to respond in certain ways. The paper begins by briefly describing BPA and the motivation for it, noting that Scanlon now accepts that the lower-order properties in question may be evaluative. He also insists that the BPA is not biconditional (wisely, since otherwise goodness becomes a ‘Cambridge property’), which leaves him with the task of explaining why goodness arises only in a sub-set of cases in which lower-order properties ground reasons. Having rejected two attempts to do this, based on elucidation of the responses and of the reasons, I suggest that Scanlon may claim that goodness arises in, and only in, cases where the lower-order properties are evaluative and that goodness itself provides us with a way of distinguishing the evaluative from the non-evaluative. In other words, he should retain the negative component of BPA, according to which being good is not itself reason-providing, while surrendering the positive, according to which the property of goodness is merely the higher-order property of having lower-order properties that provide reasons to respond. CiteULike    Connotea    Del.icio.us    What's this?
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DOI 10.1093/mind/fzn031
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Principia Ethica.G. E. Moore - 1903 - Dover Publications.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.

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Citations of this work BETA

Intrinsic Vs. Extrinsic Value.Michael J. Zimmerman - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
In Defence of Good Simpliciter.Richard Rowland - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1371-1391.
Constructivism in Ethics.Carla Bagnoli (ed.) - 2013 - Cambridge University Press.
Abandoning the Buck Passing Analysis of Final Value.Andrew E. Reisner - 2009 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (4):379 - 395.

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