Reasons, oughts, and requirements

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Abstract

The reasons first approach holds that all other normative concepts can be explained by reasons. It promises to unify the normative domain, telling us what makes any normative concept normative. But the reasons first theorist then has to give us analyses of all other normative concepts in terms of reasons. Though there is a natural account of “ought” in terms of reasons, analyses of other concepts are more difficult. The distinction between what you ought and what you are required to do necessitates a reasons first account of requirement that respects this distinction. The Two Kinds of Reasons strategy appeals to one kind of reason that explains oughts and one that explains requirements. But while the concepts are distinct, they bear important structural relationships to one another which the Two Kinds of Reasons strategy threatens to miss. After two existing implementations are rejected, a potential way forward is suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Studies in Metaethics
Subtitle of host publication11
EditorsRuss Shafer-Landau
PublisherOxford University Press
Chapter7
Pages155-181
ISBN (Electronic)9780191828775
ISBN (Print)9780198784647, 9780198784654
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2016

Publication series

NameOxford Studies in Metaethics
Volume11

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