Alienation and the Metaphysics of Normativity: On the Quality of Our Relations with the World

Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 26 (1) (2023)
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I argue that metaethicists should be concerned with two kinds of alienation that can result from theories of normativity: alienation between an agent and her reasons, and alienation between an agent and the concrete others with whom morality is principally concerned. A theory that cannot avoid alienation risks failing to make sense of central features of our experience of being agents, in whose lives normativity plays an important role. The twin threats of alienation establish two desiderata for theories of normativity; however, I argue that they are difficult to jointly satisfy.


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Jack Samuel
New York University

Citations of this work

Toward a Post-Kantian Constructivism.Jack Samuel - 2023 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 9 (53):1449–1484.
The Right and the Wren.Christa Peterson & Jack Samuel - 2021 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility Volume 7. Oxford University Press. pp. 81-103.

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“How to Be a Moral Realist.Richard Boyd - 1988 - In G. Sayre-McCord (ed.), Essays on Moral Realism. Cornell University Press. pp. 181-228.
Kantian constructivism in moral theory.John Rawls - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 77 (9):515-572.

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