Footing the Cost (of Normative Subjectivism)

In Jussi Suikkanen & Antti Kauppinen (eds.), Methodology and Moral Philosophy. Routledge (forthcoming)
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I defend normative subjectivism against the charge that believing in it undermines the functional role of normative judgment. In particular, I defend it against the claim that believing that our reasons change from context to context is problematic for our use of normative judgments. To do so, I distinguish two senses of normative universality and normative reasons---evaluative universality and reasons and ontic universality and reasons. The former captures how even subjectivists can evaluate the actions of those subscribing to other conventions; the latter explicates how their reasons differ from ours. I then show that four aspects of the functional role of normativity---evaluation of our and others actions and reasons, normative communication, hypothetical planning, and evaluating counternromative conditionals---at most requires our normative systems being evaluatively universal. Yet reasonable subjectivist positions need not deny evaluative universality.



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Jack Woods
University of Leeds

Citations of this work

The Authority of Formality.Jack Woods - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13.
The Normative Force of Promising.Jack Woods - 2016 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 6:77-101.
The Self-Effacement Gambit.Jack Woods - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (2):113-139.

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References found in this work

Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785 - New Haven: Oxford University Press.
The Concept of Law.Hla Hart - 1961 - Oxford University Press.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Foundations of Language 13 (1):145-151.
The Concept of Law.Hla Hart - 1961 - Oxford University Press UK.

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