Normative Bedrock: Response-Dependence, Rationality, and Reasons
Joshua Gert presents an original and ambitious theory of the normative. Expressivism and non-reductive realism represent two very widely separated poles in contemporary discussions of normativity. But the domain of the normative is both large and diverse; it includes, for example, the harmful, the fun, the beautiful, the wrong, and the rational. It would be extremely surprising if either expressivism or non-reductive realism managed to capture all—or even the most important—phenomena associated with all of these notions. Normative Bedrock defends a response-dependent account of the normative that accommodates the kind of variation in response that some non-reductive realists downplay or ignore, but that also allows for the sort of straightforward talk of normative properties, normative truth, and substantive normative disagreement that expressivists have had a hard time respecting. One of the distinctive features of Gert's approach is his reliance, throughout, on an analogy between colour properties and normative properties. He argues that the appropriate response to a given instance of a normative property may often depend significantly on the perspective one takes on that instance: for example, whether one views it as past or future. Another distinctive feature of Normative Bedrock is its focus on the basic normative property of practical irrationality, rather than on the notion of a normative reason or the notion of the good. This simple shift of focus allow for a more satisfying account of the link between reasons and motivation, and helps to explain why and how some reasons can justify far more than they can require, and why we therefore need two strength values to characterize the normative capacities of practical reasons.
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account of harm admirable agent agreement in response appeal apply appropriate response argue attitude averse to harm basic normative behavior beliefs biconditional chapter claim cognitivism cognitivist color constancy color terms color vision color words count degree depend Derek Parfit disagreement discourse distinct domain domain of discourse example explain expressivism expressivist fact fitting-attitude accounts fittingness function funny G. E. Moore goals green human idea instance of harm interpretative mechanism irrational action irrationality Joshua Gert kind language linguistic naturalism means Metaethics moral multiple-aspect account non-cognitivists normal normative notions normative properties normative reasons normative terms objective rationality objective reasons one’s pain particular person perspective Pettit philosophers plausible possible Price priori problem puzzlement rational status realistic reference regarded relevant response response-dependent account response-dependent concepts salient Schroeder secondary qualities seems semantics sense simply someone sort substantive suffering supervenience talk things thought experiment true truth vagueness visual response worry