Agency and Normative Self-Governance

Matthew Silverstein

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    We are agents: we can deliberate about what to do, and then act on the basis of that deliberation. We are also capable of normative self-governance: we can identify and respond to reasons as reasons. Many theorists believe that these two capacities are intimately connected. On the basis of this connection they conclude that practical reasoning must be carried out under the guise of a justification. This paper explores two strategies for avoiding that conclusion. The first, which just denies the connection between agency and normative self-governance, is rejected as too costly, since it leaves the normative significance of agency unexplained. The second, which suggests that we can respond to a consideration as a reason without representing it as a reason, seems more promising, but it requires a reductive account of reasons for action. The upshot is that metaethics and action theory are entwined in ways that few have recognized.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)517-528
    Number of pages12
    JournalAustralasian Journal of Philosophy
    Volume95
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 3 2017

    Fingerprint

    Governance
    Theorists
    Reasons for Action
    Action Theory
    Justification
    Metaethics
    Deliberation
    Practical Reasoning

    Keywords

    • agency
    • guise of the good
    • metaethics
    • normative guidance
    • reasons
    • Setiya
    • Velleman

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Philosophy

    Cite this

    Agency and Normative Self-Governance. / Silverstein, Matthew.

    In: Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 95, No. 3, 03.07.2017, p. 517-528.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Silverstein, Matthew. / Agency and Normative Self-Governance. In: Australasian Journal of Philosophy. 2017 ; Vol. 95, No. 3. pp. 517-528.
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