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A Defense of Hybrid Voluntarism

  • Author(s): Davia, Cory Michael
  • Advisor(s): Brink, David O
  • et al.
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Abstract

Some of our talk and thought is descriptive; it attempts to say how the world is. Some of our talk and thought is normative; it attempts to say how the world should be. This dissertation addresses the relationship between those two domains. Specifically, I investigate the question: in virtue of what do some descriptive considerations have the normative status of reasons for action? Philosophers working on this question have tended to defend three possible answers: that considerations are reasons in virtue of mind-independent normative facts, in virtue of the desires of the agents for whom they are reasons, or in virtue of the voluntary acts of will of the agents for whom they are reasons. I argue that the best answer is a hybrid of the first and third answers. While it is not always up to us whether some consideration is a reason, sometimes it is. Investigating how this can be turns out to illuminate some classic metaethical issues about the role of reflection in agency, the relationship between morality and our personal projects, and how normative motivation is possible.

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This item is under embargo until July 10, 2022.