SOPhiA 2017

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Ana's Norm: A Model Case of Fitting Attitudes
(Ethics, English)

Fitting Attitudes (FA) theories explain evaluative properties (values) in terms of the fittingness of certain evaluative attitudes which people hold in response, e.g. a person is blameworthy iff it is fitting to blame them. Fittingness is often interpreted as having good reasons to hold the attitude. But this faces the wrong-kind-of-reason problem, namely that there are good reasons for holding an attitude, even if they do not warrant ascribing the corresponding value to the object. One solution to the problem is to differentiate between object-given and state-given reasons, and only allow object-given reasons to count as fitting. However, the common interpretation of object-given reasons as reasons for why something has a value leads to the circularity of explaining values through fittingness and fittingness through values.
In this talk, I propose an alternative view of object-given reasons which interprets them as reasons for action rather than reasons to belief something has a value. Such a view has the advantage of not being circular. I construct a simplified model case of Ana, who adheres to a simple norm of fairness which justifies holding an attitude of blame towards another person, Bob. Ana can ascribe the property of blameworthiness to Bob because she has an independent reason that justifies blame, which does not depend on a prior notion of blameworthiness and is not a wrong kind of reason. Using this model, I test whether such a non-circular approach to FA theory is viable and how it can be expanded upon.

Chair: Katharina Anna Sodoma
Time: 15:05-15:35, 14 September 2017 (Thursday)
Location: SR 1.007

Jonas Blatter 
(University of Bern, Switzerland)

Jonas Blatter holds a Master of Arts degree in ''Political, Legal and Economic Philosophy'' from the University of Bern, Switzerland. He has worked on topics of moral psychology and virtue ethics with particular interests in the role of character in ethics and situationism, philosophy of emotions, and reactive attitudes.

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