Annals of Ethics
Online ISSN : 2434-4699
On the Biconditional Relationship between Reasons and Values
Satomi ABE
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2019 Volume 68 Pages 215-229


 According to T.M. Scanlon’s buck-passing account of value(BPA), goodness is not a property that can provide a reason in itself, but is the purely formal, higher-order property of having some lower-order property that provides a reason. If this is correct, whenever we have reason to have a certain attitude toward something or to behave in a certain way, the object is valuable in some sense: that is, the relationship between reasons and values is biconditional. In addition, it implies the eliminativism of value, in the sense that it reduces the fact that something has value into a mere relationship between a reason-giving property and reasons, and it deprives value of its normative power to give reason.  The present study attempts to defend the implications of the biconditonality of reasons and values. To undermine this, objectors need only establish one case where a reason does not bear on evaluations. We may have reason to respond to objects in favourable ways ─ for example, we might desire, respect, or recommend them ─ even though the objects are not at all valuable in themselves, or because we have reasons that have nothing to do with the objects’ value. Or, one may have a strong intuition that purely deontological reasons are completely separated from values. On the contrary, this study posits that we can affirm the consistency of BPA by introducing a distinction between derivative reasons and non-derivative reasons(what one might call “ultimate reasons”), or by clarifying the difference between the normativity of reasons and the normativity of deontology. In comparing the normative character of reasons and the deontic, I will also demonstrate the similarity between the normative feature of reasons and the evaluative function. In so doing, BPA becomes more plausible.

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