Christian Piller
University of York
GE Moore vehemently defended the view that what actually happens and not what we, even reasonably, expect to happen, determines what we ought to do. ‘The only possible reason that can justify any action’, Moore writes, ‘is that by it the greatest possible amount of what is good absolutely should be realized’. Moore is an objectivist about reasons and duties: The world and not our view of it gives us reasons to act; the way the world is, and not the way we think it is, determines what we ought to do. In his new book Jonathan Dancy agrees: the world itself has normative significance, reality, as Dancy puts it, is practical. On this, most general level Dancy and Moore agree. But unlike Moore’s, Dancy’s objectivism is not embedded in any particular normative theory. And whereas Moore strikes me as hard-nosed, and his position as sharp-edged, Dancy’s position looks, in comparison, softer and subtler. Contrasting the two positions will help to bring out these features of Dancy’s view. But it will also help to explain the worry that Dancy’s view might have departed too far from its origin.
Keywords Reasons  Objectivism  Subjectivism  GE Moore  J Dancy
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ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI ppr2003672110
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