Noûs (forthcoming)

Authors
Nathan Robert Howard
Texas A&M University
N. G. Laskowski
California State University, Long Beach
Abstract
Throughout his career, Derek Parfit made the bold suggestion, at various times under the heading of the "Normativity Objection," that anyone in possession of normative concepts is in a position to know, on the basis of their competence with such concepts alone, that reductive realism in ethics is not even possible. Despite the prominent role that the Normativity Objection plays in Parfit's non-reductive account of the nature of normativity, when the objection hasn't been ignored, it's been criticized and even derided. We argue that the exclusively negative attention that the objection has received has been a mistake. On our reading, Parfit's Normativity Objection poses a serious threat to reductivism, as it exposes the uneasy relationship between our a priori knowledge of a range of distinctly normative truths and the typical package of semantic commitments that reductivists have embraced since the Kripkean revolution.
Keywords normativity  reductivism  non-reductivism  naturalism  non-naturalism  normative concepts  reference  a priori knowledge  metaethics  epistemology
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DOI 10.1111/nous.12293
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.Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.) - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
Moral Realism: A Defence.Russ Shafer-Landau - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Slaves of the Passions.Mark Schroeder - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.

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