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- DescriptionT. M. Scanlon offers a qualified defense of rmative cognitivism-the view that there are irreducibly rmative truths about reasons for action. He responds to three familiar objections: that such truths would have troubling metaphysical implications; that we would have way of kwing what they are; and that the role of reasons in motivating and explaining action could t be explained if accepting a conclusion about reasons for action were a kind of belief. Scanlon answers the first of these objections within a general account of ontological commitment, applying to mathematics as well as rmative judgments. He argues that the method of reflective equilibrium, properly understood, provides an adequate account of how we come to kw both rmative truths and mathematical truths, and that the idea of a rational agent explains the link between an agent's rmative beliefs and his or her actions. Whether every statement about reasons for action has a determinate truth value is a question to be answered by an overall account of reasons for action, in rmative terms. Since it seems unlikely that there is such an account, the defense of rmative cognitivism offered here is qualified: statements about reasons for action can have determinate truth values, but it is t clear that all of them do. Along the way, Scanlon offers an interpretation of the distinction between rmative and n-rmative claims, a new account of the supervenience of the rmative on the n-rmative, an interpretation of the idea of the relative strength of reasons, and a defense of the method of reflective equilibrium.
- Author BiographyT. M. Scanlon received a BA from Princeton in 1962 and a PhD from Harvard in 1968, in between studying for a year at Brasenose College, Oxford. He taught at Princeton from 1966 until 1984, and at Harvard since that time. Scanlon is the author of many articles in moral and political philosophy, and of three books: What We Owe to Each Other (Harvard University Press, 1998), The Difficulty of Tolerance: Essays in Political Philosophy (CUP, 2003), and Moral Dimensions: Permissibility, Meaning, Blame (Harvard University Press, 2008).
- Author(s)T. M. Scanlon
- PublisherOxford University Press
- Date of Publication07/01/2016
- Place of PublicationOxford
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintOxford University Press
- Weight188 g
- Width142 mm
- Height215 mm
- Spine8 mm
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