Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 26 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Here I address the issue of whether the concept of a reason is a basic normative notion. I do this by considering whether the attempts to analyze this notion in terms of “ought” succeed, as I think these are the most promising accounts. I consider the attempts of Broome, and of Kearns and Star, to attempt to analyze reasons in terms of oughts, and argue that these attempts fail. I defend the view that goodness can be defined in terms of reasons—the buck-passing account of goodness—and defend this view from the most serious objections, the “wrong kind of reasons” objection and the “isolated good” objection. I finish by expressing some doubts about whether “ought” can be defined in terms of reasons. I conclude, therefore, that the notion of a reason is a basic notion, but not the basic normative notion.

Keywords: reasons, explanation, evidence, value, buck-passing, Scanlon, Broome, Kearns and Star

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.