Exclusionary Reasons, Virtuous Motivation, and Legal Authority

Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 31 (2):347-64 (2018)
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In this essay, I argue that the role for exclusionary reasons in a sound account of practical rationality is, at most, much more circumscribed than proponents of exclusionary reasons might suppose. Specifically, I argue that an attractive account of moral motivation is in tension with the idea that moral reasons can be excluded. Limiting ourselves to the tools of first order moral reasons—including such relations as outweighing, and disabling—allows us to preserve a more attractive account of the relationship between what there is strongest reason to do, what one is motivated to do, and that for which one is praiseworthy or blameworthy. In closing, I argue that we can capture the normativity associated with legal decision-making using only the resources of the first-order model.



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Andrew Jordan
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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