Normative metaphysics for accountants

Barry Maguire, Justin Snedegar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We use normative reasons in a bewildering variety of different ways. And yet, as many recent theorists have shown, one can discern systematic distinctions underlying this complexity. This paper is a contribution to this project of constructive normative metaphysics. We aim to bring a black sheep back into the flock: the balancing model of weighing reasons. This model is threatened by a variety of cases in which distinct reasons overlap, in the sense that they do not contribute separate weight for or against an option. Our response is to distinguish between derivative reasons and load-bearing reasons, only the latter of which contribute non-overlapping weight to an option. This distinction is close at hand for analyses of reasons in terms of the promotion of significant outcomes. But we also develop an account of this distinction for fundamentalist theories of normative reasons.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2020


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