Pragmatism and teleology

This paper connects two ideas. The first is that some common responses to ethical views are responses to their degrees of pragmatism, where a view’s degree of pragmatism is its sensitivity to ethically relevant changes in the actor’s circumstances. I claim that we feel the pull of opposing pro-pragmatic and antipragmatic intuitions in certain cases. This suggests a project, of searching for an ethical view capable of doing justice to these opposing intuitions in some way. The second central idea is that a theory of pattern-based reasons looks more promising than the obvious alternatives to fulfil this role, amongst Teleological theories at least. Pattern-based reasons are reasons to perform some action because of the goodness or rightness of a larger pattern of action—such as a pattern that a group could perform or that the actor could perform over an extended period—of which the immediate action is a mere part. Existing theories of such reasons share two features that prevent them explaining the intuitions we wish to explain: they consider only one pattern at a time (they are monist), and they treat patterns as eligible only if the agents concerned are willing to realise them (they accept the Willingness Requirement). But we need not accept these doctrines. Moreover, a theory of patternbased reasons without them is able to explain the pro- and anti-pragmatic intuitions in an elegant way, and has other attractive features.
Keywords Consequentialism  Teleology  Deontology  Pragmatism
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,191
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Acting for the Right Reasons.Julia Markovits - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (2):201-242.
Reasoning with Moral Conflicts.John F. Horty - 2003 - Noûs 37 (4):557–605.
Are There Any Nonmotivating Reasons for Action?Noa Latham - 2003 - In Sven Walter & Heinz-Dieter Heckmann (eds.), Physicalism and Mental Causation. Imprint Academic. pp. 273.
Rationality and the Unit of Action.Christopher Woodard - 2011 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (2):261-277.
Reasons and Impossibility.Ulrike Heuer - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 147 (2):235 - 246.
A Dialectical Approach to Action Theory.John M. Connolly - 1976 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 19 (1-4):427 – 442.
Group-Based Reasons for Action.Christopher Woodard - 2003 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 6 (2):215-229.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

94 ( #55,074 of 2,172,656 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #325,028 of 2,172,656 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums