Reasons and Requirements

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (1):73-83 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In this essay I defend the claim that all reasons can ground final requirements. I begin by establishing a prima facie case for the thesis by noting that on a common-sense understanding of what finality is, it must be the case that all reasons can ground such requirements. I spend the rest of the paper defending the thesis against two recent challenges. The first challenge is found in Joshua Gert’s recent book, Brute Rationality. In it he argues that reasons play two logically distinct roles – requiring action and justifying action. He argues, further, that some reasons – ‘purely justificatory’ reasons – play only the latter role. Jonathan Dancy offers the second challenge in his Ethics Without Principles, where he distinguishes between the ‘favoring’ and ‘ought-making’ roles of reasons. While all reasons play the former role, some do not play the latter, and are therefore irrelevant to what one ought to do. My contention is that both Gert and Dancy are going to have trouble accounting for our intuitions in a number of cases.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,174

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Sources, Reasons, and Requirements.Bruno Guindon - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1253-1268.
Normative Requirements.John Broome - 1999 - Ratio 12 (4):398–419.
Repression and External Reasons.Gary Jaeger - 2009 - Journal of Value Inquiry 43 (4):433--446.
Why Be Rational.Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.
Are Moral Reasons Morally Overriding?Douglas W. Portmore - 2008 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (4):369-388.
The Weight of Moral Reasons.Ralph Wedgwood - 2013 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics (Ed. Mark Timmons) 3:35-58.
Reasons and Rationality.Jonathan Way - forthcoming - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford University Press.
Practical Reasons, Practical Rationality, Practical Wisdom.Matthew S. Bedke - 2008 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (1):85-111.
Direct Moral Grounding and the Legal Model of Moral Normativity.Benjamin Sachs - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (4):703-716.
Ethical Particularism - An Essay on Moral Reasons.Ulrik Kihlbom - 2002 - Almqvist & Wicksell Stockholm International.
Practical Reasons and Moral 'Ought'.Patricia Greenspan - 2007 - In Russell Schafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, vol. II. Clarendon Press. pp. 172-194.
Might There Be Legal Reasons?Richard Paul Hamilton - 2004 - Res Publica 10 (4):425-447.
Practical Reason and Ethics Above the Line.Christopher Tollefsen - 2002 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 5 (1):67-87.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
51 (#227,740)

6 months
1 (#413,740)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ben Sachs
University of St. Andrews

References found in this work

What is It Like to Be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
What is It Like to Be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 2003 - In John Heil (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
What is It Like to Be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 2004 - In Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas (eds.), Metaphysics: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
Morality, Normativity, and Society.David Copp - 1995 - Oxford University Press.

View all 10 references / Add more references