The Normativity of What We Care About

A Love-based Theory of Practical Reasons

Katrien Schaubroeck (Author),

Category: Philosophy

Language: English

ISBN: 9789058679055

Publication date: March 4, 2013

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Number of pages: 207

Size: 240 x 160 x 15 mm

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Category: Philosophy

Language: English

DOI: 10.11116/9789461660770

ISBN: 9789461660770

Publication date: March 20, 2013

€29.50 (including 6% VAT)

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Number of pages: 207

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A love-based reason theory as a new perspective in the debate on practical reasons

Reasons and obligations pervade our lives. The alarm clock gives us a reason to get up in the morning, the expectations of colleagues or clients give us a reason to do our jobs well, the misery in developing countries gives us a reason to donate money to Oxfam, a headache gives us a reason to take an aspirin. Looking for unity in variety, philosophers wonder why a consideration counts as a reason to do something. The nature and source of practical reasons have been debated intensively over the last three decades in analytical philosophy. This book discusses the three most influential theories referred to as the desire-based, the value-based, and the rationality-based theories of practical reasons. The author argues that all three are defective because they overlook the role of what agents care about. In the end it is our being concerned about other people, leading a meaningful life and being healthy (among other things) that gives us reasons to do certain things rather than others. Drawing on insights from Harry Frankfurt, the author presents a love-based reason theory as a new and promising perspective in the debate on practical reasons.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

Preface

Introduction

Chapter 1
Internalism and externalism: some terminology

1.1 Introduction
1.2 Falk and Frankena
1.3 The internalist position modified
1.4 The externalist position elaborated
1.5 Judgment internalism/externalism versus existence internalism/externalism
1.6 Other kinds of internalism and externalism
1.7 Varieties of existence internalism and externalism
1.8 Conclusion

Chapter 2
Bernard Williams on practical reasons

2.1 Introduction
2.2 The internal reason theory
2.3 Refining the sub-Humean model
2.4 Objections to external reasons
2.4.1 The no-explanatory-force objection
2.4.2 The no-motivational-fuel objection
2.4.3 The obscurity objection
2.5 The Tess case: an objection to Williams’ internal reason theory
2.6 Conclusion

Chapter 3
Michael Smith on practical reasons

3.1 Introduction
3.2 The moral problem
3.3 Cognitivism, internalism and Humean motivation
3.3.1 The objectivity of moral obligations
3.3.2 The practicality of moral judgements
3.3.3 The Humean theory of motivation
3.4 The conceptual analysis of normative reasons
3.4.1 Platitudes about normative reasons
3.4.2 The advice model (as opposed to the example model)
3.4.3 The ‘if fully rational’ condition: Smith versus Williams
3.4.4 The analysis captures the platitudes
3.5 Moral rationalism: the solution to the moral problem
3.6 Smith’s analysis of normative reasons evaluated
3.6.1 The analysis trivializes convergence
3.6.2 Why do reasons have to be objective?
3.6.3 The analysis does not guarantee practicality
3.6.4 The analysis rests on a false platitude
3.6.5 Normative reasons and what I would desire if I were fully rational
3.6.6 The advice model is inconsistent with the convergence thesis
3.7 Conclusion

Chapter 4
Derek Parfit on practical reasons

4.1 Introduction
4.2 Parfit’s externalism
4.2.1 The obscurity objection rejected
4.2.2 The no-explanatory-force objection rejected
4.2.3 The no-motivational-fuel objection rejected
4.3 Parfit’s value-based reason theory
4.3.1 Internalism and the desire-based reason theory
4.3.2 Parfit’s argument against reductive desire-based reason views
4.3.3 Parfit’s argument against non-reductive desire-based reason views
4.3.4 Arguments in favour of the value-based reason theory
4.4 Parfit’s normative non-naturalism
4.4.1 Korsgaard’s criticism of realism
4.4.2 Korsgaard’s constructivism
4.4.3 Parfit’s criticism of constructivism
4.4.4 The non-naturalist account of normativity evaluated
4.5 Conclusion 142

Chapter 5
Harry Frankfurt on practical reasons

5.1 Introduction
5.2. Frankfurt’s theory of care and love
5.2.1 The hierarchical model
5.2.2 Care
5.2.3 Love
5.3 The love-based reason theory
5.4 The love-based reason theory evaluated
5.4.1 Love and desire: both motivating, both natural
5.4.2 The groundlessness objection
5.4.3 The authority of love
5.4.4 The objection of normative triviality
5.4.5 The Tess case
5.4.6 The love-based reason theory and morality
5.5 Conclusion

Concluding remarks
Bibliography

Katrien Schaubroeck

Katrien Schaubroeck is postdoctoral researcher at Utrecht University. She studied philosophy at KU Leuven where she completed her PhD in 2008.

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