Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/288845
Title:
The nature of normativity
Author:
Radzik, Linda Christine, 1970-
Issue Date:
1997
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:
There is something mysterious, and perhaps even dubious, about 'ought' claims. They seem to exert an authoritative power, a "binding force," over us. The norms of morality are most often said to exhibit such an authoritative force. The "queerness" of this alleged property has led many to moral skepticism. But, normative authority is no less mysterious in the case of the 'oughts' of epistemics, logic or prudence. The questions "Why should I believe the truth? accept deductive inferences? act prudently?" are puzzling in the same way as the more familiar worry "Why should I be moral?" Moral philosophers who have tried to explain the nature of normative authority have most frequently focused their efforts on developing theories of the nature of moral facts, our epistemic access to such facts, or our motivational responses to them. It seems to me that each of these approaches is inadequate to the task of capturing normative force. One may know that it is a fact that stealing is immoral but still wonder whether one should steal. One may feel a strong motivation to be honest without being convinced that there is good reason to be so motivated. We will not clear up the mystery of normative authority by clearing up the metaphysics, epistemology, or motivational efficacy of norms. I contend that normative authority is a matter of justification. A norm is authoritative for an agent if and only if it is justified in a thorough-going sense, which I refer to as "justification simpliciter." I analyze the nature of justification simpliciter by means of an extended analogy with epistemic justification. There is a regress problem with justification simpliciter, and there are foundationalist, coherentist and externalist approaches to solving that problem. I conclude that foundationalist and externalist models of justification simpliciter fail. I then develop a coherentist theory of the nature of normativity, called Reflective Endorsement Coherentism. According to this theory, an agent is justified in accepting norm N as a guide to her action if and only if she can both endorse N upon reflection and reflectively endorse her own practices of endorsement.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Philosophy.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Philosophy
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Schmidtz, David

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleThe nature of normativityen_US
dc.creatorRadzik, Linda Christine, 1970-en_US
dc.contributor.authorRadzik, Linda Christine, 1970-en_US
dc.date.issued1997en_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.abstractThere is something mysterious, and perhaps even dubious, about 'ought' claims. They seem to exert an authoritative power, a "binding force," over us. The norms of morality are most often said to exhibit such an authoritative force. The "queerness" of this alleged property has led many to moral skepticism. But, normative authority is no less mysterious in the case of the 'oughts' of epistemics, logic or prudence. The questions "Why should I believe the truth? accept deductive inferences? act prudently?" are puzzling in the same way as the more familiar worry "Why should I be moral?" Moral philosophers who have tried to explain the nature of normative authority have most frequently focused their efforts on developing theories of the nature of moral facts, our epistemic access to such facts, or our motivational responses to them. It seems to me that each of these approaches is inadequate to the task of capturing normative force. One may know that it is a fact that stealing is immoral but still wonder whether one should steal. One may feel a strong motivation to be honest without being convinced that there is good reason to be so motivated. We will not clear up the mystery of normative authority by clearing up the metaphysics, epistemology, or motivational efficacy of norms. I contend that normative authority is a matter of justification. A norm is authoritative for an agent if and only if it is justified in a thorough-going sense, which I refer to as "justification simpliciter." I analyze the nature of justification simpliciter by means of an extended analogy with epistemic justification. There is a regress problem with justification simpliciter, and there are foundationalist, coherentist and externalist approaches to solving that problem. I conclude that foundationalist and externalist models of justification simpliciter fail. I then develop a coherentist theory of the nature of normativity, called Reflective Endorsement Coherentism. According to this theory, an agent is justified in accepting norm N as a guide to her action if and only if she can both endorse N upon reflection and reflectively endorse her own practices of endorsement.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectPhilosophy.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplinePhilosophyen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorSchmidtz, Daviden_US
dc.identifier.proquest9729443en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b34796332en_US
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