Francesco Guala has written an important book proposing a new account of social institutions and criticizing existing ones. We focus on Guala’s critique of collective acceptance theories of institutions, widely discussed in the literature of collective intentionality. Guala argues that at least some of the collective acceptance theories commit their proponents to antinaturalist methodology of social science. What is at stake here is what kind of philosophizing is relevant for the social sciences. We argue that a Searlean version of collective (...) acceptance theory can be defended against Guala’s critique and question the sufficiency of Guala’s account of the ontology of the social world. (shrink)
İmâmü’l-Haremeyn Ebü’l-Meâlî el-Cüveynî ve öncesi Eş‘arî kelâm sisteminde yer alan hâller teorisi, bu sistemin tümeller anlayışı şeklinde değerlendirilebileceği gibi ortak hakikatler şeklinde de değerlendirilebilir. Ancak bu dönemde söz konusu teoriyi savunanlar ve savunmayanlar olmak üzere iki farklı hakikat anlayışı göze çarpar. Hâlleri reddedenler hakikatleri nominal çerçevede değerlendirirken, bu teoriyi savunanlar ise realist bir tavırla mevcutlar için ortak hâl ve hakikatten bahseder. Bu doğrultuda onlar her ne kadar hâller teorisi üzerinden realist bir yöntem takınarak Aristotelesçi tümel anlayışına yaklaşmış olsalar da aralarında (...) temel farklar bulunur. Aristotelesçi tümel anlayışı nesnelere dair olmasına karşın kelâmcıların hâlleri, hâdis âlemde nesnelerin bütününe değil, onların yapı- taşları olan cevher-araz ikilisinin kapsamıyla sınırlıdır. Yani Cüveynî özelinde kelâmcılar nesnelerin yapıtaşlarında realist ancak nesneler bütünü dikkate alındığında nominalisttirler. Ayrıca hâller, Aristotelesçi tümellerden farklı olarak önermelerde asla konu kabul edilmemektedir. Hâllerde gözlemlenen bu durum nedeniyle söz konusu dönemin Eş‘arî kelâmında ikinci cevherler yer bulamamıştır. Son olarak da arazlar ve ilâhî mânâlar sıfat kategorisinden çıkartılıp yerine hâller yerleştirilmiştir. Böylece hakikî anlamda cevherler ve Zât-i ilâhînin yanında arazlar ve ilâhî mânâlar da zât kategorisine dâhil edilmiştir. Dolayısıyla zât-sıfat bağlamında yeni bir kelâm dili ortaya çıkmış ve hâllere ontik bir “yer” biçilmiştir. Ancak bu yer; kelime, zihin, nesne veya nesnenin ötesi değildir. Bu çerçeveyle hâller teorisi “şekil”, “kapsam” ve “yer” olmak üzere bu makalede üç noktada değerlendirilmeye tabi tutulacaktır. (shrink)
The main evidence used in a matter of proving prophethood in Kalām is miracles. For this reason, other extraordinary situations that miraculously occur have always been on the agenda of theologians. Of these the most similar to miracle is karāma events that occur extraordinary in the hands of Walī. Karāma has been discussed on certain theoretical grounds in kalām books during the beginning period of Sunnī kalām. As in other theological debates, the leading adversaries of Sunnī theologians in the issue (...) of karāma were Muʿtazilite theologians. This study discusses approaches towards karāma in early period of Sunnī kalām. Accordingly, the scholars who determined the basic approaches of Ashʿariyya and Māturīdiyya kalām schools are included in the study. İmām al-Ashʿarī, Ibn Fūrak, al-Bāqillānī, ʿAbd al-Qāhir al-Baghdādī, Abu’l-Maʿālī İmām al-ḥaramayn al-Juwaynī, Abū ʿAbdallāh al-Ḥalīmī and Abū Isḥāq al-Isfarāyīnī from Ashʿarī school; Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī, Ḥakīm as-Samarqandī, Abū al-Yusr al-Bazdawī and Abū al-Muīn an-Nasafī from Māturīdiyya school, in this context, are included in the study. Besides, some authors from fields other than kalām are included in the scope of the study in order to determine the first use of the concept of karāma and different approaches are discussed. In the study, after the views of the theologians on the subject are presented descriptively, these views are critically assessed. (shrink)
Bu makalede Erken dönem Eş‘ariyye’de dakîku’l-kelâm konusu izah edilmeye çalışılacaktır. Kelâm ilminin sistematik hale gelişinden itibaren konuları genellikle dakîku’l-kelâm ve celîlu’l-kelâm şeklinde ikili bir tasnifle ele alınmıştır. Dakîku’l-kelâm, konusu itibariyle âlem, âlemin unsurları, cevher, araz, cisim gibi fizik alanına tekabül ederken celîlu’l-kelâm ise uluhiyyet, nübüvvet ve sem’iyyât ile ilişkili olan metafizik alana tekabül etmektedir. Hicrî dördüncü asırda teşekkül eden Eş‘arî kelâm okulu varlık konusu başta olmak üzere fizik ve metafizik konuları sistematik bir şekilde ele almıştır. Erken dönem Eş‘arî kelâmında kelâm (...) ilminin fizik alanına tekabül eden dakîku’l-kelâm konularına epeyce yer verilmiştir. Bu çalışmada amacımız erken dönem Eş‘ariyye’nin Allah-âlem ilişkisi, âlemin hudûsu ve unsurları, cisim, cevher ve araz gibi meseleleri içeren dakîku’l-kelâm anlayışını sunmaktır. Allah-âlem ilişkisini ele almada daha önceleri Mu‘tezile tarafından kullanılan kelâm atomculuğunun Eş‘arî kelâmında da benimsenip benimsenmediğine değinilecektir. Aynı şekilde Âlemin işleyişinde bir zorunluluğun olup olmadığı meselesini konu edinen illiyet/nedensellik tartışmaları da ele alınacaktır. Bu çalışmanın erken dönem Eş‘arî kelâmının dakîku’l-kelâm alanındaki özgünlüğünü ortaya koymasını ve yeni çalışmalara kapı aralayarak literatüre bir katkı sunmasını umuyoruz. Çalışmada literatür taraması, mukayese ve metin analizi yöntemi kullanılmış olup konu erken dönem Eş‘ariyye ile sınırlandırılmıştır. (shrink)
Recent years have seen an increasing interest in the study of continuous-time computational models. However, not so much has been done with respect to setting up a complexity theoretic framework for such models. The present paper intends to go a step into this direction. We consider problems over the real numbers which we try to relate to Lyapunov theory for dynamical systems: The global minimizers of particular energy functions are supposed to give solutions of the problem. The structure of such (...) energy functions leads to the introduction of problem classes U and NU; for the systems we are considering they parallel the classical complexity classes P and NP. We then introduce a notion of reducibility among problems and show existence of complete problems for NU and for PU, a polynomial hierarchy of continuous-time problems.For previous work on the computational capabilities of continuous-time systems see the surveys by Cris Moore  and by Pekka Orponen . Our paper presents a step into the direction of creating a general framework for a complexity theory of continuous-time systems as outlined in . It is closely related to work done by A. Ben-Hur, H. Siegelmann, and S. Fishman [12, 11]. (shrink)
The contents of the inaugural volume of Oxford Studies in Metaethics nicely mirror the variety of issues that make this area of philosophy so interesting. The volume opens with Peter Railton's exploration of some central features of normative guidance, the mental states that underwrite it, and its relationship to our reasons for feeling and acting. In the next offering, Terence Cuneo takes up the case against expressivism, arguing that its central account of the nature of moral judgments is badly mistaken. (...) Terence Horgan and Mark Timmons, two of the most prominent contemporary expressivists, then offer their take on how expressivism manages to avoid a different objection-that of collapsing into an objectionable form of relativism. Daniel Jacobson and Justin D'Arms next offer an article that continues their research program devoted to exploring the extent to which values might depend upon, or be constrained by, human psychology. Ralph Wedgwood engages in some classical metaethical conceptual analysis, seeking to explicate the meaning of ought. Mark van Roojen then contributes a new take on the Moral Twin Earth Argument, a prominent anti-realist puzzle advanced in the early 1990s by Horgan and Timmons.Allan Gibbard next presents his latest thoughts on the nature of moral feelings and moral concepts, crucial elements in the overall project of defending the expressivism he is so well known for. James Dreier then takes up the details of Gibbard's recent efforts to provide a solution to what many view as the most serious difficulty for expressivism, namely, the Frege-Geach problem. Dreier identifies difficulties in Gibbard's expressivist account, and offers a suggestion for their solution. Sergio Tenenbaum explores the concept of a direction of fit, relied on so heavily nowadays in accounts of moral motivation. Nadeem Hussain and Nishiten Shah then consider the merits of Christine Korsgaard's influential critique of moral realism. T. M. Scanlon's widely-discussed buck-passing account of value attracts the critical eye of Pekka Väyrynen, who attempts to reveal the reasons that we might resist it. Derek Parfit's contribution concludes this volume, with an article on normativity that presents his most recent thinking on this fundamental notion. (shrink)
The contents of the inaugural volume of Oxford Studies in Metaethics nicely mirror the variety of issues that make this area of philosophy so interesting. The volume opens with Peter Railton's exploration of some central features of normative guidance, the mental states that underwrite it, and its relationship to our reasons for feeling and acting. In the next offering, Terence Cuneo takes up the case against expressivism, arguing that its central account of the nature of moral judgments is badly mistaken. (...) Terence Horgan and Mark Timmons, two of the most prominent contemporary expressivists, then offer their take on how expressivism manages to avoid a different objection-that of collapsing into an objectionable form of relativism. Daniel Jacobson and Justin D'Arms next offer an article that continues their research program devoted to exploring the extent to which values might depend upon, or be constrained by, human psychology. Ralph Wedgwood engages in some classical metaethical conceptual analysis, seeking to explicate the meaning of ought. Mark van Roojen then contributes a new take on the Moral Twin Earth Argument, a prominent anti-realist puzzle advanced in the early 1990s by Horgan and Timmons. -/- Allan Gibbard next presents his latest thoughts on the nature of moral feelings and moral concepts, crucial elements in the overall project of defending the expressivism he is so well known for. James Dreier then takes up the details of Gibbard's recent efforts to provide a solution to what many view as the most serious difficulty for expressivism, namely, the Frege-Geach problem. Dreier identifies difficulties in Gibbard's expressivist account, and offers a suggestion for their solution. Sergio Tenenbaum explores the concept of a direction of fit, relied on so heavily nowadays in accounts of moral motivation. Nadeem Hussain and Nishiten Shah then consider the merits of Christine Korsgaard's influential critique of moral realism. T. M. Scanlon's widely-discussed buck-passing account of value attracts the critical eye of Pekka Väyrynen, who attempts to reveal the reasons that we might resist it. Derek Parfit's contribution concludes this volume, with an article on normativity that presents his most recent thinking on this fundamental notion. (shrink)
In addition to thin concepts like the good, the bad and the ugly, our evaluative thought and talk appeals to thick concepts like the lewd and the rude, the selfish and the cruel, the courageous and the kind -- concepts that somehow combine evaluation and non-evaluative description. Thick concepts are almost universally assumed to be inherently evaluative in content, and many philosophers claimed them to have deep and distinctive significance in ethics and metaethics. In this first book-length treatment of thick (...) concepts, Pekka Väyrynen argues that all this is mistaken. Through detailed attention to the language of thick concepts, he defends a novel theory on which the relationship between thick words and evaluation is best explained by general conversational and pragmatic norms. Drawing on general principles in philosophy of language, he argues that many prominent features of thick words and concepts can be explained by general factors that have nothing in particular to do with being evaluative. If evaluation is not essential to the sort of thinking we do with thick concepts, claims for the deep and distinctive significance of the thick are undermined. The Lewd, the Rude and the Nasty is a fresh and innovative treatment of an important topic in moral philosophy and sets a new agenda for future work. It will be essential reading to anyone interested in the analysis and the broader philosophical significance of evaluative and normative language. (shrink)
The use of evidence in medicine is something we should continuously seek to improve. This book seeks to develop our understanding of evidence of mechanism in evaluating evidence in medicine, public health, and social care; and also offers tools to help implement improved assessment of evidence of mechanism in practice. In this way, the book offers a bridge between more theoretical and conceptual insights and worries about evidence of mechanism and practical means to fit the results into evidence assessment procedures.
Attempts have been made to prove God's non-existence. Often this takes the form of an appeal to the so-called Argument from Evil: if God were to exist, then he would not permit as much suffering in the world as there actually is. Hence the fact that there is so much suffering constitutes evidence for God's non-existence. In this essay I propose a variation which I shall call ‘The Argument from Non-belief’. Its basic idea is that if God were to exist, (...) then he would not permit as much non-belief in the world as there actually is. Hence the fact that there is so much non-belief constitutes evidence for God's non-existence. (shrink)
Le XI.ème Congrès International de Philosophie Médiévale de la Société Internationale pour l’Étude de la Philosophie Médiévale (S.I.E.P.M..) s’est déroulé à Porto (Portugal), du 26 au 30 août 2002, sous le thème général: Intellect et Imagination dans la Philosophie Médiévale. A partir des héritages platonicien, aristotélicien, stoïcien, ou néo-platonicien (dans leurs variantes grecques, latines, arabes, juives), la conceptualisation et la problématisation de l’imagination et de l’intellect, ou même des facultés de l’âme en général, apparaissaient comme une ouverture possible pour aborder (...) les principaux points de la pensée médiévale. Les Actes du congrès montrent que « imagination » et « intellect » sont porteurs d’une richesse philosophique extraordinaire dans l’économie de la philosophie médiévale et de la constitution de ses spécificités historiques. Dans sa signification la plus large, la théorisation de ces deux facultés de l’âme permet de dédoubler le débat en au moins six grands domaines: — la relation avec le sensible, où la fantaisie/l’imagination joue le rôle de médiation dans la perception du monde et dans la constitution de la connaissance ; — la réflexion sur l’acte de connaître et la découverte de soi en tant que sujet de pensée ; — la position dans la nature, dans le cosmos, et dans le temps de celui qui pense et qui connaît par les sens externes, internes et par l’intellect ; — la recherche d’un fondement pour la connaissance et l’action, par la possibilité du dépassement de la distante proximité du transcendant, de l’absolu, de la vérité et du bien ; — la réalisation de la félicité en tant qu’objectif ultime, de même que la découverte d’une tendance au dépassement actif ou mystique de toutes les limites naturelles et des facultés de l’âme ; — la constitution de théories de l’image, sensible ou intellectuelle, et de ses fonctions. Les 3 volumes d’Actes incluent les 16 leçons plénières et 112 communications, ainsi que les index correspondants (manuscrits ; noms anciens et médiévaux ; noms modernes ; auteurs). Le volume IV des Actes, contenant 39 communications et des index, est publié par la revue " Mediaevalia. Textos e Estudos ", du Gabinete de Filosofia Medieval de l’Universidade do Porto (volume 23, de 2004). Ouvrage publié avec l’appui de l’Universidade do Porto, de la Faculdade de Letras da U.P., du Departamento de Filosofia - F.L.U.P. et de la Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portugal). (shrink)
Normative explanations of why things are wrong, good, or unfair are ubiquitous in ordinary practice and normative theory. This paper argues that normative explanation is subject to a justification condition: a correct complete explanation of why a normative fact holds must identify features that would go at least some way towards justifying certain actions or attitudes. I first explain and motivate the condition I propose. I then support it by arguing that it fits well with various theories of normative reasons, (...) makes good sense of certain legitimate moves in ordinary normative explanatory discourse, and helps to make sense of our judgments about explanatory priority in certain cases of normative explanation. This last argument also helps to highlight respects in which normative explanation won’t be worryingly discontinuous with explanations in other domains even though these other explanations aren’t subject to the justification condition. Thus the paper aims not only to do some constructive theorizing about the relatively neglected topic of normative explanation but also to cast light on the broader question of how normative explanation may be similar to and different from explanations in other domains. (shrink)
Although the history of centrally planned economies has been widely studied, the development of socialist thinking on the subject has remained largely uncharted. In this 1991 work, Pekka Sutela presents a detailed analysis of Soviet economic thought and theory. Dr Sutela traces the competing currents in the Marxist tradition of socialist economies from the Revolution to the present day. In particular he shows how the Gorbachev economic reform programme of 1987 rose from the work of Nobel Prize economist L. (...) V. Kantorovich and his followers. However, this programme failed and the author explains in some detail why this happened. Since then, Soviet economists have tried to abandon their traditional theory of central planning and move along the path and long established contacts with leading Soviet economists, Pekka Sutela is able to show how Soviet economic thinking has moved from dogmatism through reformism to pragmatism. (shrink)
This paper defends doubts about the existence of genuine moral perception, understood as the claim that at least some moral properties figure in the contents of perceptual experience. Standard examples of moral perception are better explained as transitions in thought whose degree of psychological immediacy varies with how readily non-moral perceptual inputs, jointly with the subject's background moral beliefs, training, and habituation, trigger the kinds of phenomenological responses that moral agents are normally disposed to have when they represent things as (...) being morally a certain way. (shrink)
Abstract The increasing prevalence of armed drones in the conduct of military operations has generated robust debate. Among legal scholars, the crux of the dispute generally pits those who herald the new technology's unparalleled precision against those who view such newfound capabilities as an inducement to employ excessive force. Largely overlooked in the discussion over how drone strikes can be accomplished lawfully is a more fundamental question: Can a model of warfare that eschews any risk of harm to one party (...) be squared with the ethical framework that informs the law of war? This matter has less to do with the technology per se than with a policy orientation that utilizes such technology as a strategy in itself, as opposed to one military tool in a larger arsenal. A corollary to the incongruity of riskless warfare is to query whether the ensuing breakdown of ethical and legal norms unwittingly encourages the very instability that the law of war attempts to control, thereby endangering the civilian populations of all parties to the conflict. While other authors have previously addressed the challenges posed by asymmetry to the law of armed conflict in different formats, this article explores these issues through a hypothetical scenario and seeks to elucidate some of the potential ramifications of the pursuit of physical impunity in war. (shrink)
This paper is a survey of the supervenience challenge to non-naturalist moral realism. I formulate a version of the challenge, consider the most promising non-naturalist replies to it, and suggest that no fully effective reply has yet been given.
This paper concerns non-causal normative explanations such as ‘This act is wrong because/in virtue of__’. The familiar intuition that normative facts aren't brute or ungrounded but anchored in non- normative facts seems to be in tension with the equally familiar idea that no normative fact can be fully explained in purely non- normative terms. I ask whether the tension could be resolved by treating the explanatory relation in normative explanations as the sort of ‘grounding’ relation that receives extensive discussion in (...) recent metaphysics. I argue that this would help only under controversial assumptions about the nature of normative facts, and perhaps not even then. I won't try to resolve the tension, but draw a distinction between two different sorts of normative explanations which helps to identify constraints on a resolution. One distinctive constraint on normative explanations in particular might be that they should be able to play a role in normative justification. (shrink)
This paper offers a general model of substantive moral principles as a kind of hedged moral principles that can (but don't have to) tolerate exceptions. I argue that the kind of principles I defend provide an account of what would make an exception to them permissible. I also argue that these principles are nonetheless robustly explanatory with respect to a variety of moral facts; that they make sense of error, uncertainty, and disagreement concerning moral principles and their implications; and that (...) one can grasp these principles without having to grasp any particular list of their permissibly exceptional instances. I conclude by pointing out various advantages that this model of principles has over several of its rivals. The bottom line is that we should find nothing peculiarly odd or problematic about the idea of exception-tolerating and yet robustly explanatory moral principles. (shrink)
This paper argues that the recent metaethical turn to reasons as the fundamental units of normativity offers no special advantage in explaining a variety of other normative and evaluative phenomena, unless perhaps a form of reductionism about reasons is adopted which is rejected by many of those who advocate turning to reasons.
Many normative judgments play a practical role in our thought. This paper concerns how their practical role is reflected in language. It is natural to wonder whether the phenomenon is semantic or pragmatic. The standard assumption in moral philosophy is that at least terms which can be used to express “thin” normative concepts – such as 'good', 'right', and 'ought' – are associated with certain practical roles somehow as a matter of meaning. But this view is rarely given explicit defense (...) or even articulation. I’ll consider several versions of the view, and argue that even the most promising among them are problematic. Terms like 'ought' are often used in ways where their customary practical role is absent. Such cases give us a choice: either offer some plausible explanation of why the relevant practical upshots don’t show up in these cases despite featuring in our semantic theory for these expressions, or else don’t build them into that theory. I argue that plausible explanations of the requisite sort aren’t forthcoming in either descriptive semantics or metasemantics for normative language. In closing I briefly consider the prospects for a pragmatic account of the phenomenon and some broader ramifications for metaethics and the philosophy of normativity. (shrink)
Normative naturalism is primarily a metaphysical doctrine: there are normative facts and properties, and these fall into the class of natural facts and properties. Many objections to naturalism rely on additional assumptions about language or thought, but often without adequate consideration of just how normative properties would have to figure in our thought and talk if naturalism were true. In the first part of the paper, I explain why naturalists needn’t think that normative properties can be represented or ascribed in (...) wholly non-normative terms. If so, certain prominent objections to normative naturalism fail. In the second part, I consider the objection that normative properties are “just too different” from (other) natural properties to themselves be natural properties. I argue that naturalists have no distinctive trouble making sense of thought and talk involving forms of “genuine” or “authoritative” normativity which can drive a non-question-begging form of the objection. (shrink)
[First published 09/2016; substantive revision 02/2021.] Evaluative terms and concepts are often divided into “thin” and “thick”. We don’t evaluate actions and persons merely as good or bad, or right or wrong, but also as kind, courageous, tactful, selfish, boorish, and cruel. The latter evaluative concepts are "descriptively thick": their application somehow involves both evaluation and a substantial amount of non-evaluative description. This article surveys various attempts to answer four fundamental questions about thick terms and concepts. (1) A “combination question”: (...) how exactly do thick terms and concepts relate evaluation and non-evaluative description? (2) A “location question”: is evaluation somehow inherent to thick terms and concepts, such as perhaps an aspect of their meaning, or merely a feature of their use? (3) A “delineation question”: how do thick terms differ from the thin and from other kinds of evaluative terms? (4) Given answers to these questions, what broader philosophical significance and applications might thick concepts have? (shrink)
I defend moral generalism against particularism. Particularism, as I understand it, is the negation of the generalist view that particular moral facts depend on the existence of a comprehensive set of true moral principles. Particularists typically present "the holism of reasons" as powerful support for their view. While many generalists accept that holism supports particularism but dispute holism, I argue that generalism accommodates holism. The centerpiece of my strategy is a novel model of moral principles as a kind of "hedged" (...) principles that incorporate an independently plausible "basis thesis" concerning the explanation of moral reasons. The model implies that moral reasons requires the existence of a comprehensive set of true hedged principles, and so it captures generalism. But the model also offers an alternative explanation of holism, and so it undercuts much of the motivation for particularism. I defend this moderate (because holism-tolerating) form of generalism against a number of objections, and show how it can be used to defeat three distinct arguments from holism to particularism. (shrink)
I first distinguish between different forms of the buck-passing account of value and clarify my target in other respects on buck-passers' behalf. I then raise a number of problems for the different forms of the buck-passing view that I have distinguished.
The core doctrine of ethical intuitionism is that some of our ethical knowledge is non-inferential. Against this, Sturgeon has recently objected that if ethical intuitionists accept a certain plausible rationale for the autonomy of ethics, then their foundationalism commits them to an implausible epistemology outside ethics. I show that irrespective of whether ethical intuitionists take non-inferential ethical knowledge to be a priori or a posteriori, their commitment to the autonomy of ethics and foundationalism does not entail any implausible non-inferential knowledge (...) in areas outside ethics (such as the past, the future, or the unobservable). However, each form of intuitionism does require a controversial stand on certain unresolved issues outside ethics. (shrink)
We study whether robots can satisfy the conditions of an agent fit to be held morally responsible, with a focus on autonomy and self-control. An analogy between robots and human groups enables us to modify arguments concerning collective responsibility for studying questions of robot responsibility. We employ Mele’s history-sensitive account of autonomy and responsibility to argue that even if robots were to have all the capacities required of moral agency, their history would deprive them from autonomy in a responsibility-undermining way. (...) We will also study whether humans and technological artifacts like robots can form hybrid collective agents that could be morally responsible for their actions and give an argument against such a possibility. (shrink)
Richard M Weaver, a thinker and writer celebrated for his unsparing diagnoses and realistic remedies for the ills of our age, is known largely through a few of his works that remain in print. This new collection of Weaver's shorter writings, assembled by Ted J Smith III, Weaver's leading biographer, presents many long-out-of-print and never-before-published works that give new range and depth to Weaver's sweeping thought. Included are eleven previously unpublished essays and speeches that were left in near-final form at (...) the time of Weaver's death in 1963. In all, there are some one hundred and twenty-six essays, speeches, book reviews, and editorials. (shrink)
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. (shrink)