Authors
Jack Woods
University of Leeds
Abstract
Why do promises give rise to reasons? I consider a quadruple of possibilities which I think will not work, then sketch the explanation of the normativity of promising I find more plausible—that it is constitutive of the practice of promising that promise-breaking implies liability for blame and that we take liability for blame to be a bad thing. This effects a reduction of the normativity of promising to conventionalism about liability together with instrumental normativity and desire-based reasons. This is important for a number of reasons, but the most important reason is that this style of account can be extended to account for nearly all normativity—one notable exception being instrumental normativity itself. Success in the case of promises suggests a general reduction of normativity to conventions and instrumental normativity. But success in the cases of promises is already quite interesting and does not depend essentially the general claim about normativity.
Keywords Promises  Normativity  Hypotheticalism  Conventionalism  Moral Dilemmas
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References found in this work BETA

A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.
Two Concepts of Rules.John Rawls - 1955 - Philosophical Review 64 (1):3-32.
The Moral Problem.James Lenman - 1994 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 1 (1):125-126.
Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives.Philippa Foot - 1972 - Philosophical Review 81 (3):305-316.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Game of Belief.Barry Maguire & Jack Woods - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (2):211-249.
Killing Kripkenstein's Monster.Jared Warren - 2020 - Noûs 54 (2):257-289.
The Authority of Formality.Jack Woods - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13.
Footing the Cost (of Normative Subjectivism).Jack Woods - forthcoming - In Jussi Suikkanen & Antti Kauppinen (eds.), Methodology and Moral Philosophy. Routledge.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

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