The Right and the Wren

In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility Volume 7. Oxford University Press. pp. 81-103 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Metaethical constructivism aims to explain morality’s authority and relevance by basing it in agency, in a capacity of the creatures who are in fact morally bound. But constructivists have struggled to wring anything recognizably moral from an appropriately minimal conception of agency. Even if they could, basing our reasons in our individual agency seems to make other people reason-giving for us only indirectly. This paper argues for a constructivism based on a social conception of agency, on which our capacity to recognize ourselves as having reasons ties us inescapably to others. It argues that mutual recognition is a pervasive feature of linguistic concepts, and builds this into a view called transformative expressivism.

Similar books and articles

Recognition, Acknowledgement, and Acceptance.Arto Laitinen - 2011 - In Heikki Ikäheimo & Arto Laitinen (eds.), Recognition and Social Ontology. Brill. pp. 309-347.
The end of moral realism?Steven Ross - 2009 - Acta Analytica 24 (1):43-61.
What is constructivism in ethics and metaethics?Sharon Street - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (5):363-384.
Reflection on the reflective ethics of charity.Sagy Watemberg Izraeli - 2020 - Approaching Religion 10 (2):187-192.
Aligning with the Good.Benjamin Mitchell-Yellin - 2015 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (2):1-8.
Constructivism, agency, and the problem of alignment.Michael E. Bratman - 2012 - In James Lenman & Yonatan Shemmer (eds.), Constructivism in Practical Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 81.
The relations between agency, identification, and alienation.Alec Hinshelwood - 2013 - Philosophical Explorations 16 (3):243-258.
Turing and the Real Girl.Yasemin J. Erden & Stephen Rainey - 2012 - The New Bioethics 18 (2):133-144.


Added to PP

1,605 (#6,021)

6 months
199 (#12,275)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Jack Samuel
New York University
Christa Peterson
University of Southern California

Citations of this work

Add more citations

References found in this work

The sources of normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Onora O'Neill.
Being Realistic About Reasons.Thomas Scanlon - 2014 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The origin of concepts.Susan Carey - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Taking Morality Seriously: A Defense of Robust Realism.David Enoch - 2011 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.

View all 22 references / Add more references