“The Thing To Do” Implies “Can”

Noûs 50 (1):61-72 (2016)
Authors
Nicholas Southwood
Australian National University
Abstract
A familiar complaint against the principle that “ought” implies “can” is that it seems that agents can intentionally make it the case that they cannot perform acts that they nonetheless ought to perform. I propose a related principle that I call the principle that “the thing to do” implies “can.” I argue that the principle that “the thing to do” implies “can” is implied by important but underappreciated truths about practical reason, and that it is not vulnerable to the familiar complaint against “ought” implies “can.” Moreover, I suggest that “the thing to do” implies “can” has interesting implications for “ought” implies “can” - implications that depend on the relation between claims about what we ought to do and claims about the thing to do.
Keywords Ought Implies Can  Practical reason  Normativity
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DOI 10.1111/nous.12037
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References found in this work BETA

The Sources of Normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Thinking How to Live.Allan Gibbard - 2003 - Harvard University Press.
Why Be Rational?Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Feasibility Issue.Nicholas Southwood - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (8):e12509.
"Actual" Does Not Imply "Feasible".Nicholas Southwood & David Wiens - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (11):3037-3060.
Contractualism for Us As We Are.Nicholas Southwood - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Republican Justice.Nicholas Southwood - 2015 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 18 (6):669-678.

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