Inescapability Revisited

Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 41 (4):113-158 (2018)
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Abstract

According to constitutivism, the objective authority of practical reason is to be grounded in the constitutive features of agency. In this paper, I offer a brief survey of the basic structure of constitutive argument about objectivity and consider how constitutivism might dispel the worry that it can only ground a conditional kind of authority. I then consider David Enoch’s original shmagency challenge and the response in terms of the inescapability of agency. In particular, I revisit the appeal to inescapability in light of Enoch’s restatement of the challenge in 'Shmagency Revisited'. I argue that the revised challenge still fails but that it helps clarify: first, the distinction between external and internal challenges to constitutivism, and, second, the existence of at least different kinds of inescapability of agency (metaphysical, psychological, and dialectical). I argue that only dialectical inescapability is helpful to show that constitutivism is a viable metanormative theory. I conclude by claiming that an internal challenge to constitutivism is still possible in principle but that the burden of proof has shifted once again to the critics of constitutivism.

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Author's Profile

Luca Ferrero
University of California, Riverside

Citations of this work

Meta‐Skepticism.Olle Risberg - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
New Shmagency Worries.Olof Leffler - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 15 (2):121-145.
The simple constitutivist move.Luca Ferrero - 2019 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (2):146-162.

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References found in this work

Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry Frankfurt - 2004 - In Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas (eds.), Metaphysics: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
The Possibility of Practical Reason.J. David Velleman - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 121 (3):263-275.
Constitutivism and the Inescapability of Agency.Luca Ferrero - 2009 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 4:303-333.

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