Perspectivism and the Argument from Guidance

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (2):361-374 (2017)
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Perspectivists hold that what you ought to do is determined by your perspective, that is, your epistemic position. Objectivists hold that what you ought to do is determined by the facts irrespective of your perspective. This paper explores an influential argument for perspectivism which appeals to the thought that the normative is action guiding. The crucial premise of the argument is that you ought to φ only if you are able to φ for the reasons which determine that you ought to φ. We show that this premise can be understood in different ways. On one reading, it provides no support for perspectivism. On another reading, the premise lacks support. So, the argument fails. An important upshot of the paper is that the objectivist can embrace the thought about guidance.

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Author Profiles

Daniel Whiting
University of Southampton
Jonathan Way
University of Southampton

Citations of this work

One Desire Too Many.Nathan Robert Howard - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):302-317.
Ethics and the Question of What to Do.Olle Risberg - 2023 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 25 (2).
Perspectives and Good Dispositions.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Dispossessing Defeat.Javier González de Prado - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):323-340.

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References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Slaves of the passions.Mark Andrew Schroeder - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Rationality Through Reasoning.John Broome (ed.) - 2013 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Justification and the Truth-Connection.Clayton Littlejohn - 2012 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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