Moral Rationalism and the Normativity of Constitutive Principles

Moral Rationalism and the Normativity of Constitutive Principles Recently, Christine Bratu and Mortiz Dittmeyer have argued that Christine Korsgaard’s constitutive project fails to establish the normativity of practical principles (such as the fundamental principle of morality) because it fails to show why a principle’s being constitutive of a practice shows that one ought to conform to that principle. They argue that in many cases a principle’s being constitutive of a practice has no bearing on whether one ought to conform to it. In this paper I argue that Bratu and Dittmeyer’s argument fails in three important respects. First, they fail to recognize the ways in which Korsgaard’s neo-Kantian view departs from more orthodox Kantian views. Second, they fail to recognize the respect in which Korsgaard’s view is a version of moral rationalism. Third, they overlook an important scope ambiguity in an important premise of their argument. A sensible way of resolving this ambiguity gives the constitutivist a reasonable response. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophia Springer Journals

Moral Rationalism and the Normativity of Constitutive Principles

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Philosophy; Philosophy, general; Epistemology; Ethics; Philosophy of Language; Philosophy of Mind; Philosophy of Science
ISSN
0048-3893
eISSN
1574-9274
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11406-017-9893-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Recently, Christine Bratu and Mortiz Dittmeyer have argued that Christine Korsgaard’s constitutive project fails to establish the normativity of practical principles (such as the fundamental principle of morality) because it fails to show why a principle’s being constitutive of a practice shows that one ought to conform to that principle. They argue that in many cases a principle’s being constitutive of a practice has no bearing on whether one ought to conform to it. In this paper I argue that Bratu and Dittmeyer’s argument fails in three important respects. First, they fail to recognize the ways in which Korsgaard’s neo-Kantian view departs from more orthodox Kantian views. Second, they fail to recognize the respect in which Korsgaard’s view is a version of moral rationalism. Third, they overlook an important scope ambiguity in an important premise of their argument. A sensible way of resolving this ambiguity gives the constitutivist a reasonable response.

Journal

PhilosophiaSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 25, 2017

References

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