Practical Reasons and Moral 'Ought'

In Russell Schafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, vol. II. Clarendon Press. pp. 172-194 (2007)
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Abstract

Morality is a source of reasons for action, what philosophers call practical reasons. Kantians say that it ‘gives’ reasons to everyone. We can even think of moral requirements as amounting to particularly strong or stringent reasons, in an effort to demystify deontological views like Kant’s, with its insistence on inescapable or ‘binding’ moral requirements or ‘oughts.’¹ When we say that someone morally ought not to harm others, perhaps all we are saying is that he has a certain kind of reason not to, one that wins out against any opposing reasons such as those touting benefits to him of ignoring others’ concerns

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Patricia S. Greenspan
University of Maryland, College Park

Citations of this work

Understanding Standing: Permission to Deflect Reasons.Ori Herstein - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (12):3109-3132.
Conflicting Reasons, Unconflicting ‘Ought's.Shyam Nair - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (3):629-663.
Formalizing Reasons, Oughts, and Requirements.Robert Mullins - 2020 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7:568-599.

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References found in this work

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The Possibility of Altruism.Thomas Nagel - 1970 - Oxford Clarendon Press.
Freedom and Reason.Richard Mervyn Hare - 1963 - Oxford, Clarendon Press.

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