Simon Robertson
Cardiff University
Constitutivist theories in ethics seek to derive and justify normative ethical claims via facts about constitutive features of agency. In Agency and the Foundations of Ethics: Nietzschean Constitutivism, Paul Katsafanas uses Nietzsche to elucidate a version of the position he believes avoids worries besetting its competitors. This paper argues that Nietzschean constitutivism falters in many of the same places: it may remain vulnerable to ‘schmagency’ objections; it faces problems giving an account of the weights of reasons that adequately explains why we have more reason to perform some actions than others; and it is unable to generate normativity from constitutive aims. These doubts have wider import than Nietzschean constitutivism alone, though: they give good reason to think that such difficulties arise from the very structure of constitutivist approaches.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 1053-8364
DOI 10.5840/jpr201739100
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