Reasons why in normative explanation

Abstract

Normative explanations, which specify why things have the normative features they do, are ubiquitous in normative theory and ordinary thought. But there is much less work on normative explanation than on scientific or metaphysical explanation. Skow (2016) argues that a complete answer to the question why some fact Q occurs consists in all of the reasons why Q occurs. This paper explores this theory as a case study of a general theory that promises to offer us a grip on normative explanation which is independent of particular normative theories. I first argue that the theory doesn’t give an adequate account of certain enablers of reasons which are important in normative explanation. I then formulate and reject three responses on behalf of the theory. But I suggest that since theories of this general sort have the right kind of resources to illuminate how normative explanation might be similar to and different from explanations in other domains, they nonetheless merit further exploration by normative theorists.

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Author's Profile

Pekka Väyrynen
University of Leeds

References found in this work

Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Harvard University Press.
Ethics Without Principles.Jonathan Dancy - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 57:321-332.

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Citations of this work

Generic Moral Grounding.Julian Jonker - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (1):23-38.

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