Oxford Studies in Metaethics 4:303-333 (2009)

Authors
Luca Ferrero
University of California, Riverside
Abstract
Constitutivism argues that the source of the categorical force of the norms of rationality and morality lies in the constitutive features of agency. A systematic failure to be guided by these norms would amount to a loss or lack of agency. Since we cannot but be agents, we cannot but be unconditionally guided by these norms. The constitutivist strategy has been challenged by David Enoch. He argues that our participation in agency is optional and thus cannot be a source of categorical demands. In this paper, I defend the viability of constitutivism by showing that agency is indeed a special ‘inescapable’ enterprise. Agency has the largest jurisdiction, and it is closed under rational assessment. This inescapability does not exempt constitutivism from raising the question whether agents have reason to be agents, but this question has to be taken up within agency. If this question is answered affirmatively, then—I argue—the criteria of practical correctness are self-ratifying in a non-circular way. This is sufficient to show the viability of the constitutivist strategy. Whether agents have conclusive reasons to be agents, however, is a matter to be addressed in the terms of particular versions of constitutivism
Keywords Constitutivism  Shmagency  Enoch  Agency
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Upload history
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Moral Realism: A Defence.Russ Shafer-Landau - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
The Sources of Normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Why Be Rational.Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.
The Sources of Normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (196):384-394.

View all 29 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Constructivism in Metaethics.Carla Bagnoli - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Uses and Abuses of the Personal/Subpersonal Distinction.Zoe Drayson - 2012 - Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):1-18.
Two Sorts of Constitutivism.Jeremy David Fix - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
Kant: Constitutivism as Capacities-First Philosophy.Karl Schafer - 2019 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (2):177-193.
The Shmagency Question.Matthew Silverstein - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1127-1142.

View all 45 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Principles of the Unification of Our Agency.Klas Roth - 2011 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 43 (3):283-297.
Belief, Normativity and the Constitution of Agency.Emer O'Hagan - 2005 - Philosophical Explorations 8 (1):39-52.
Shmagency Revisited.David Enoch - 2011 - In Michael Brady (ed.), New Waves in Metaethics. Palgrave-Macmillan.
Allison on Rational Agency.Stephen Engstrom - 1993 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 36 (4):405 – 418.
Epistemic Responsibility Without Epistemic Agency.Pascal Engel - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (2):205 – 219.
Deriving Ethics From Action: A Nietzschean Version of Constitutivism.Paul Katsafanas - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (3):620-660.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
1,528 ( #1,779 of 2,331,366 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
174 ( #2,400 of 2,331,366 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes