Metaphilosophy 51 (2-3):375-390 (2020)

Vitor Sommavilla
Federal University of Paraiba
According to a tradition going back to Socrates, one should thoroughly examine the grounds of one’s judgments before settling on what one has reason to do or believe. According to contemporary metaethical constructivism, assumed in this essay, reflective scrutiny is also central to assessing a judgment’s claim to justification. This essay argues against the injunctions to thoroughly examine oneself and seek ultimate reasons for one’s normative judgments. In other words, the essay argues against the ideal of the philosophical way of life. It shows that in most cases one does not have reason to question the practical conclusion of one’s initial deliberation. It is only under very limited conditions, specified in the essay, that one is justified in engaging in further reflection. Furthermore, the essay argues that if one does go for full self-examination, the consequences are most likely to be bad for oneself, given one’s practical interests.
Keywords deliberation  metaethical constructivism  philosophy as a way of life  practical reasons  self‐examination
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DOI 10.1111/meta.12412
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What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas M. Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
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Understanding Why.Alison Hills - 2015 - Noûs 49 (2):661-688.
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