Reasons: Explanatory and Normative

Joseph Raz

in From Normativity to Responsibility

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199693818
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731907 | DOI:
Reasons: Explanatory and Normative

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‘A reason’ has two meanings: explanatory reasons are facts that contribute to an explanation (of anything explained); normative reasons are facts that favour and guide responses, in one’s emotions, beliefs, actions, etc., to how things are. The two kinds of reasons are connected by their connection to the capacity of Reason, or rationality, and by the normative/explanatory nexus, i.e. by the fact that normative reasons can explain the response that they favour. Normative reasons are—potentially—explanatory reasons, but the explanations they provide are of a special kind that presupposes their normative character. The chapter builds on ideas offered by B. Williams, and criticizes J. Broome’s view of the relations between reasons, explanations, and ‘ought-facts’, offering an alternative explanation of ought-propositions.

Keywords: Bernard Williams; John Broome; reasons; explanations; normativity; ought

Chapter.  13018 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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