Benjamin Kiesewetter
Freie Universität Berlin
According to an attractive and widely held view, all practical reasons are explained in terms of the (instrumental or final) value of the action supported by the reason. I argue that this theory is incompatible with plausible assumptions about the practical reasons that correspond to certain moral rights, including the right to a promised action and the right to an exclusive use of one’s property. The argument is an explanatory rather than extensional one: while the actions supported by the relevant reasons (e.g. keeping a valid promise or respecting property) can be argued to have a certain kind of value, I argue that this value presupposes a moral right, and therefore cannot explain the reason. Reflection on such cases suggest the conclusion that reasons that are subject to normative powers are generally not value-based. This also has important implications for the dialectic between ‘value-first’ and ‘reasons-first’ approaches to normativity.
Keywords reasons  value  practical reason  guise of the good  deontic value  normative powers  promising  voluntary obligation  interest theory of rights  value-based theory of reasons
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Principia Ethica.George Edward Moore - 1903 - Dover Publications.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Slaves of the Passions.Mark Schroeder - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.

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Citations of this work BETA

Fittingness: A User’s Guide.Chris Howard & R. A. Rowland - forthcoming - In Chris Howard & R. A. Rowland (eds.), Fittingness. Oxford University Press.
Value-First Accounts of Reasons and Fit.R. A. Rowland - forthcoming - In Fittingness. Oxford University Press.

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