Authors
Errol Lord
University of Pennsylvania
Kurt Sylvan
University of Southampton
Abstract
Reasons fundamentalists maintain that we can analyze all derivative normative properties in terms of normative reasons. These theorists famously encounter the Wrong Kind of Reasons problem, since not all reasons for reactions seem relevant for reasons-based analyses. Some have argued that this problem is a general one for many theorists, and claim that this lightens the burden for reasons fundamentalists. We argue in this paper that the reverse is true: the generality of the problem makes life harder for reasons fundamentalists. We do this in two stages. First, we show that reflection on the generality of the distinction between wrong-kind reasons and right-kind reasons shows that not all right-kind reasons are normative reasons. So, not only do reasons-based analyses require a distinction between right-kind reasons and wrong-kind reasons, they also need a distinction between normative right-kind reasons from nonnormative right-kind reasons. We call this the Right Kind of Reasons Problem. In the second stage of the paper, we argue that reasons fundamentalism places tight constraints on its proper solution: in particular, it forbids one from appealing to anything normative to distinguish normative RKRs from nonnormative RKRs. It hence seems that reasons fundamentalists can only appeal to natural facts to solve the problem, but it is unclear which ones can do the job. So, reflection on the generality of the distinction only multiplies the fundamentalist’s problems. We end by exploring several solutions to these problems, and recommend a form of constitutivism as the best.
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DOI 10.26556/jesp.v15i1.264
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References found in this work BETA

On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Being Realistic About Reasons.T. M. Scanlon - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
Ethics Without Principles.Jonathan Dancy - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
The Domain of Reasons.John Skorupski - 2010 - Oxford University Press.

View all 37 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Kant: Constitutivism as Capacities-First Philosophy.Karl Schafer - 2019 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (2):177-193.
Aesthetic Practices and Normativity.Robbie Kubala - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Suspension, Higher-Order Evidence, and Defeat.Errol Lord & Kurt Sylvan - forthcoming - In Mona Simion & Jessica Brown (eds.), Reasons, Justification, and Defeat. Oxford University Press.
Aesthetic Reasons and the Demands They (Do Not) Make.Daniel Whiting - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (2):407-427.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

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