Fabian Wendt
Virginia Tech
Peter Stemmer has developed an elegant and impressive theory of normativity and morality. In this article, I try to show that he does not achieve two goals he set for himself. First, his theory does not capture the categorical bindingness of moral demands, even in Stemmer’s own interpretation of categorical bindingness: it does not show that we must follow moral demands no matter what our personal goals and desires are. Second, just because it would be rational to establish positive moralities in a hypothetical pre-moral scenario, it does not follow – and Stemmer does not establish – that only positive moralities that are in the interest of all members are legitimate. For that reason, his contractarian theory collapses into relativism.
Keywords Peter Stemmer  categorical bindingness  contractarianism  legitimacy  moral demands  relativism
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DOI 10.1515/dzph-2018-0046
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