Ethics and Practical Reasoning

Ethics 127 (2):353 - 382 (2017)
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How is practical reasoning related to ethical reasoning? The most common view is that they are identical: practical reasoning just is ethical reasoning. I criticize this view and then propose an alternative account of the relation between ethical thought and practical thought: ethical reasoning is reasoning about sound practical reasoning. I argue that this account of the relation between ethics and practical reasoning explains various phenomena that more familiar views leave unexplained. It also entails that the philosophy of action bears heavily on ethical inquiry.


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Author's Profile

Matthew Silverstein
New York University, Abu Dhabi

Citations of this work

Defining Normativity.Stephen Finlay - 2019 - In Toh Kevin, Plunkett David & Shapiro Scott (eds.), Dimensions of Normativity: New Essays on Metaethics and Jurisprudence. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 62-104.
Inescapability and Normativity.Matthew Silverstein - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 6 (3):1-27.
Normative roles, conceptual variance, and ardent realism about normativity.David Plunkett - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (5):509-534.
The Unity of Normative Thought.Jeremy David Fix - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (3):639-658.
Practical cognition as volition.Jeremy David Fix - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (3):1077-1091.

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References found in this work

Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
Free agency.Gary Watson - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (April):205-20.
Skepticism about practical reason.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (1):5-25.
What Happens When Someone Acts?J. David Velleman - 1992 - Mind 101 (403):461-481.

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