There Are No Reasons for Affective Attitudes

Mind 127 (507):779-805 (2018)
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Abstract

A dogma of contemporary ethical theory maintains that the nature of normative support for affective attitudes is the very same as the nature of normative support for actions. The prevailing view is that normative reasons provide the support across the board. I argue that the nature of normative support for affective attitudes is importantly different from the nature of normative support for actions. Actions are indeed supported by reasons. Reasons are gradable and contributory. The support relations for affective attitudes are neither. So-called reasons of the right kind for affective attitudes are facts that make those very attitudes fitting. Unlike reasons, fit-making facts for affective attitudes do not conflict with each other or combine in the explanation of further normative facts. More fit-making facts just make a more complex set of reactions fitting. This result undermines various analyses and unity theses in the philosophy of normativity.

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Barry Maguire
University of Edinburgh

Citations of this work

The Game of Belief.Barry Maguire & Jack Woods - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (2):211-249.
Fittingness.Christopher Howard - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (11):e12542.
A Perceptual Theory of Hope.Michael Milona & Katie Stockdale - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5.
The fittingness of emotions.Hichem Naar - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13601-13619.

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References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Slaves of the passions.Mark Andrew Schroeder - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Rationality Through Reasoning.John Broome (ed.) - 2013 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Being Realistic About Reasons.Thomas Scanlon - 2014 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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