Philosophy 290-3

Spring 2006

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
290-3 Practical Necessities Wallace M 2-4 234 Moses

The normative reasons at the center of moral life have distinctive features that encourage us to think of them as sources of practical necessity. In this seminar we will look at three different ideas that contribute to this sense of the special rational force of moral considerations: inescapability (the idea that morality provides reasons to all agents, without regard to their special preferences and tastes and interests); deontic structure (the sense that moral considerations enter the deliberative field, as it were, in the guise of requirements); and importance (the idea that moral reasons are significant enough to prevail against the kinds of personal consideration with which they might come into conflict). Readings will be drawn from the contemporary literature on morality, normativity, and practical reason, including some work in progress by the instructor.