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Seminars in Moral Philosophy Week 8 HT09

Event Name Seminars in Moral Philosophy Week 8 HT09
Start Date 9th Mar 2009 4:30pm
End Date 9th Mar 2009 4:30pm
Duration N/A

Pekka Vayrynen (Leeds) 'A Wrong Turn to Reasons?' to be held in the Lecture Room, 10 Merton Street, Oxford - Seminars in Moral Philosophy webpage


A wide family of recent views in metaethics exemplify a “turn to reasons” -- the idea that evaluative and normative concepts or properties can ultimately be analyzed or explicated in terms of reasons. One, but only one, instance of this trend is the “buck-passing” account of value. This paper articulates a challenge to this general trend. The challenge is that reasons are subject to a certain kind of explanatory demand but there appears to be no adequate way to meet this demand in terms which assign reasons an appropriately fundamental normative status but don't at the same time suggest that reasons are best understood as reducible to non-evaluative, non-normative properties and relations. I won't have room to discuss whether a reductionist turn to reasons can meet the explanatory demand. But, since most advocates of the turn to reasons reject reductionism about reasons, the challenge implies that these philosophers have taken a wrong turn to reasons. I conclude that one must either be a reductionist about reasons or abandon the turn to reasons.

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