According to a common (though not uncontroversial) view, some normative reasons for action are moral and others are not. For example, I may have normative reason to publish philosophy papers, but this reason does not seem to be a moral reason. Assuming this distinction, this paper asks: what distinguishes the moral reasons from the rest? Some have suggested that what makes moral reasons distinctive is their role in interpersonal justification: moral reasons are the reasons that determine whether I can justify my actions to others. Building on this idea, I argue that the relevant sense of ‘justification to others’ is justification within joint practical deliberation, the activity of deciding together what to do. This leads to my answer to the title question: what makes reasons moral is that they apply within a universal perspective of joint deliberation about what to do.
Please note the new start time of this seminar.
Conveners: Ed Lamb and Jeremy Fix
Members of the audience are invited to join the speaker and the convener for drinks and dinner at a local restaurant following the talk (at their own expense). There will be some limit on the number of people who can attend. Please RSVP to Ed Lamb to reserve a place. Please note that we will no longer be going to dinner afterwards at Somerville College to continue questioning the speaker.