An Empirical Refutation of ‘Ought’ Implies ‘Can’

Analysis 76 (3):283-290 (2016)
Most philosophers assume that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’, and most of them hold that this principle is true not only universally but also analytically or conceptually. Some skeptics deny this principle, although they often admit some related one. In this article, we show how new empirical evidence bolsters the skeptics’ arguments. We then defend the skeptical view against some objections to the empirical evidence and to its effect on the traditional principle. In light of the new evidence, we conclude that philosophers should stop unconditionally assuming that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’.
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DOI 10.1093/analys/anw041
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References found in this work BETA
I Ought, Therefore I Can.Peter B. M. Vranas - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 136 (2):167-216.
The Philosophy of Philosophy.Timothy Williamson - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (3):455-464.
'Ought' and Ability.P. A. Graham - 2011 - Philosophical Review 120 (3):337-382.

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