Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194231
Title:
Meta-normativity: An Inquiry into the Nature of Reasons
Author:
Bedke, Matthew
Issue Date:
2007
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The most important questions we ask are normative questions. And the most fundamental normative questions are couched in terms of reasons: What do I have reason to do? and What do I have reason to believe? Although not always explicitly about reasons, I take it that much of normative philosophy at least implicitly offers first order normative answers to such questions. But stepping back, we can ask what these questions and answers are about - what are reasons anyway? This dissertation addresses those meta-normative questions, questions about the conceptual structure, semantics, ontology and epistemology of reasons. In the inquiry to come, chapters 1 and 2 consider the conceptual structure and core semantics of reasons. I argue that all reasons-internal reasons grounded in motivational states, external reasons connected to morality, epistemic reasons for belief, whatever--share the same conceptual structure and core semantics, so they all will stand or fall together when it comes to questions of reason truths and facts. In chapters 3-5 I argue that reason discourse has realist purport because reason judgments feature cognitive and belief-like attitudes about the way the world is, normatively speaking. To vindicate normativity's realist purport would require an ontology of favoring relations flowing from considerations in the world to actions and attitudes of various agents. So in chapters 6 and 7 I consider such an ontology. Unfortunately, favoring relations do not fit into the emerging naturalized view of the world. To make matters worse, based on the kinds of reasons we accept, there are no good reasons for admitting non-natural favoring relations in to the ontology. Reasons cannot bear their own survey. As a result, this dissertation culminates in a revisionary semantics, discussed in chapter 8, whereby I suggest we all adopt a fictive stance toward propositions about any kind of reason. In the end, we can preserve reason discourse and its characteristic roles in our lives so long as we are disposed to avow irrealism about reasons in critical contexts.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
meta-ethics; reasons; normativity; expressivism; realism; naturalism
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Philosophy; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Schmidtz, David
Committee Chair:
Schmidtz, David

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleMeta-normativity: An Inquiry into the Nature of Reasonsen_US
dc.creatorBedke, Matthewen_US
dc.contributor.authorBedke, Matthewen_US
dc.date.issued2007en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe most important questions we ask are normative questions. And the most fundamental normative questions are couched in terms of reasons: What do I have reason to do? and What do I have reason to believe? Although not always explicitly about reasons, I take it that much of normative philosophy at least implicitly offers first order normative answers to such questions. But stepping back, we can ask what these questions and answers are about - what are reasons anyway? This dissertation addresses those meta-normative questions, questions about the conceptual structure, semantics, ontology and epistemology of reasons. In the inquiry to come, chapters 1 and 2 consider the conceptual structure and core semantics of reasons. I argue that all reasons-internal reasons grounded in motivational states, external reasons connected to morality, epistemic reasons for belief, whatever--share the same conceptual structure and core semantics, so they all will stand or fall together when it comes to questions of reason truths and facts. In chapters 3-5 I argue that reason discourse has realist purport because reason judgments feature cognitive and belief-like attitudes about the way the world is, normatively speaking. To vindicate normativity's realist purport would require an ontology of favoring relations flowing from considerations in the world to actions and attitudes of various agents. So in chapters 6 and 7 I consider such an ontology. Unfortunately, favoring relations do not fit into the emerging naturalized view of the world. To make matters worse, based on the kinds of reasons we accept, there are no good reasons for admitting non-natural favoring relations in to the ontology. Reasons cannot bear their own survey. As a result, this dissertation culminates in a revisionary semantics, discussed in chapter 8, whereby I suggest we all adopt a fictive stance toward propositions about any kind of reason. In the end, we can preserve reason discourse and its characteristic roles in our lives so long as we are disposed to avow irrealism about reasons in critical contexts.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectmeta-ethicsen_US
dc.subjectreasonsen_US
dc.subjectnormativityen_US
dc.subjectexpressivismen_US
dc.subjectrealismen_US
dc.subjectnaturalismen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplinePhilosophyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorSchmidtz, Daviden_US
dc.contributor.chairSchmidtz, Daviden_US
dc.contributor.committeememberTimmons, Marken_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHorgan, Terryen_US
dc.identifier.proquest2081en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659747188en_US
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