Erkenntnis

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 47–69

Moral Realism, Normative Reasons, and Rational Intelligibility

  • Hallvard Lillehammer
Article
  • 80 Downloads

Abstract

This paper concerns a prima facie tension between the claims that (a) agents have normative reasons obtaining in virtue of the nature of the options that confront them, and (b) there is a non-trivial connection between the grounds of normative reasons and the upshots of sound practical reasoning. Joint commitment to these claims is shown to give rise to a dilemma. I argue that the dilemma is avoidable on a response dependent account of normative reasons accommodating both (a) and (b) by yielding (a) as a substantial constraint on sound practical reasoning. This fact is shown to have significance for the contemporary dialectic between moral realists and their opponents.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Bennett, J.: 1994, The Act Itself, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  2. Blackburn, S.: 1998, Ruling Passions, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  3. Bond, E. J.: 1982, Reason and Value, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  4. Broome, J.: 1993, 'Can a Humean be Moderate?', in R. G. Frey and C. Morris (eds.), Value, Welfare, and Morality, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 279-286.Google Scholar
  5. Dancy, J.: 2000, Practical Reality, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  6. Goldman, A. I.: 1986, Epistemology and Cognition, Harvard University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  7. Grice, G. R.: 1976, The Grounds of Moral Judgement, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  8. Hare, R. M.: 1982, Moral Thinking, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  9. Harman, G.: 1977, The Nature of Morality, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  10. Jackson, F.: 1998, From Metaphysics to Ethics, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  11. Johnston, M.: 1989, 'Dispositionalist Theories of Value', Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume 63, pp. 139-174.Google Scholar
  12. Johnston, M.: 1993, 'Objectivity Refigured', in J. Haldane and C. Wright (eds.), Reality, Representation, and Projection, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  13. Korsgaard, C.: 1983, 'Two Distinctions in Goodness', Philosophical Review 92, 169-195.Google Scholar
  14. Korsgaard, C.: 1986, 'Skepticism about Practical Reason', Journal of Philosophy 83, 5-25.Google Scholar
  15. Korsgaard, C.: 1995, The Sources of Normativity, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  16. McDowell, J.: 1995, 'Might there be External Reasons?', in J. E. J. Altham and R. Harrison (eds.), World, Mind and Ethics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 68-85.Google Scholar
  17. Lillehammer, H.: 1999, 'Analytical Dispositionalism and Practical Reason', Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 2, 117-133.Google Scholar
  18. Lillehammer, H.: 2000, 'Revisionary Dispositionalism and Practical Reason', Journal of Ethics 4, 173-190.Google Scholar
  19. Millgram, E.: 1996, 'Williams's Argument against External Reasons', Nous 30, 197-220.Google Scholar
  20. Nagel, T.: 1986, The View from Nowhere, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  21. Parfit, D.: 1984, Reasons and Persons, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  22. Parfit, D.: 1997, 'Reasons and Motivation', Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume 71, pp. 99-130.Google Scholar
  23. Pettit, P.: 1990, 'Realism and Response Dependence', Mind 100, 587-626.Google Scholar
  24. Scanlon, T.: 1998, What We Owe to Each Other, Harvard University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  25. Sidgwick, H.: 1874, The Methods of Ethics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  26. Smith, M.: 1994, The Moral Problem, Basil Blackwell, Oxford.Google Scholar
  27. Wiggins, D.: 1991, 'Truth, Invention, and the Meaning of Life', in D. Wiggins (ed.), Needs, Values, Truth, 2nd edn., Basil Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 87-137.Google Scholar
  28. Williams, B.: 1981, 'Internal and External Reasons', in B. Williams (ed.), Moral Luck, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 101-113.Google Scholar
  29. Williams, B.: 1985, Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy, Fontana Press, London.Google Scholar
  30. Williams, B.: 1995, 'Internal Reasons and the Obscurity of Blame', in B. Williams (ed.), Making Sense of Humanity, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 35-45.Google Scholar
  31. Wright, C.: 1992, Truth and Objectivity, Harvard University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hallvard Lillehammer
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of PhilosophyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

Personalised recommendations