"I am sure that I do not understand the idea of a reason for acting, and I wonder whether anyone else does either." Philippa Foot
SCHEDULE OF READINGS
For each week, the readings are broken down into required readings and optional further readings. You are not at all expected to read the optional readings. I include them in case you find the topic especially interesting and would like to write a paper on it or simply learn more.
Week 1: Introduction
No Required Reading for this Week Part 1: Internalism about Normative Reasons
Week 2: Hypotheticalism, Part 1
Required Reading Williams, B. "Internal and External Reasons"
Strongly Recommended Reading McDowell, J. "Might There Be External Reasons?"
Optional Further Reading Dancy, J. "Internal and External Reasons" Finlay, S. "The Obscurity of Internal Reasons" Finlay, S. and Schroeder, M. “Reasons for Action: Internal vs. External” SEP Manne, K. "Internalism about Reasons: Sad but True?" Markovits, J. "Internal Reasons and the Motivating Intuition" Millgram, E. “Williams’ Argument against External Reasons” Nagel, T. The Possibility of Altruism, Chapters 1-5 Scanlon, T. M. "Williams on Internal and External Reasons" Wiland, E. Reasons, pp.31-45 Williams, B. “Internal Reasons and the Obscurity of Blame”
Week 3: Hypotheticalism, Part 2
Required Reading Schroeder, M. Selections from Slaves of the Passions
Optional Further Reading Dancy, J. “Response to Mark Schroeder’s Slaves of the Passions” Enoch, D. "Critical Notice of Slaves of the Passions" McPherson, T. “Mark Schroeder’s Hypotheticalism” Shackel, N. “Still Waiting for a Plausible Humean Theory of Reasons” Sobel, D. “Review of Mark Schroeder’s Slaves of the Passions” URL Street, S. “In Defence of Future Tuesday Indifference”
Week 4: Kantian Constructivism, Part 1
Required Reading Smith, M. "Internal Reasons"
Strongly Recommended Reading Korsgaard, C. "Skepticism about Practical Reason"
Optional Further Reading Copp, D. "Belief, Reason, and Motivation: Michael Smith's The Moral Problem" Gibbard, A. "Morality as Consistency in Living: Korsgaard's Kantian Lectures" Korsgaard, C. Selections from The Sources of Normativity Sayre-McCord, G. "The Meta-Ethical Problem" Smith, M. "In Defense of The Moral Problem" Smith, M. Selections from The Moral Problem, Ch. 5
Week 5: Kantian Constructivism, Part 2
Required Reading Markovits, J. Selections from Moral Reason
Optional Further Reading Bagnoli, C. “Constructivism in Meta-Ethics.” SEP Darwall, S. Selections from Impartial Reason Markovits, J. “Why Be an Internalist about Reasons?” O’Neill, O. “Constructivisms in Ethics” O’Neill, O. "Consistency in Action" Rawls, J. “Kantian Constructivism in Moral Theory”
Week 6: Consultation Week
I’ll be in my office during the normal class hours. Feel free to arrange a meeting at another time if this doesn’t work for you. Just send me an email and I’ll be happy to find a time.
Week 7: Constitutivism
Required Reading Korsgaard, C. Selections from Self-Constitution
Strongly Recommended Reading Korsgaard, C. “Self-Constitution in the Ethics of Plato and Kant”
Optional Further Reading Enoch, D. “Agency, Schmagency” Millgram, E. “Practical Reason and the Structure of Actions” SEP Railton, P. “On the Hypothetical and the Non-Hypothetical in Reasoning about Belief and Action” Velleman, D. "The Possibility of Practical Reason"
Part 2: Externalism and Hybrid Views
Week 8: Scanlon and Parfit
Required Reading Parfit, D. “Reasons and Motivation” Scanlon, T. M. What We Owe to Each Other, Chapter 1
Optional Further Reading Markovits, J. “On What It Is to Matter, and Other Matters” Parfit, D. On What Matters, Chapters 2-4 Smith, M. “Desires, Values, Reasons, and the Dualism of Practical Reason” Smith, M. “Parfit’s Mistaken Meta-Ethics” Sobel, D. “Parfit’s Case against Subjectivism”
Week 9: Hybrid Voluntarism
Required Reading Chang, R. "Voluntarist Reasons and the Sources of Normativity"
Strongly Recommended Reading Chang, R. “Commitments, Reasons, and the Will"
TED Talk Supplement Chang, R. "How to Make Hard Choices" VIDEO
Optional Further Reading Chang, R. “Can Desires Provide Reasons for Action?” Chang, R. “Practical Reasons: The Problem of Gridlock" Chang, R. “Grounding Practical Normativity: Going Hybrid" De Beauvoir, S. The Ethics of Ambiguity Sartre, J. P. "Existentialism Is a Humanism"
Part 3: Reasons, Rationality, and Morality
Week 10: Morality and Rationality, Part 1
Required Reading Foot, P. “Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives”
Strongly Recommended Reading McDowell, J. "Are Moral Requirements Hypothetical Imperatives?"
Optional Further Reading Dreier, J. “Humean Doubts about the Practical Justification of Morality” Korsgaard, C. "The Myth of Egoism" Nagel, T. The Possibility of Altruism, Chapter 7, 9-12
Week 11: Morality and Rationality, Part 2
Required Reading Nagel, T. Selections from The Possibility of Altruism
Optional Further Reading Parfit, D. Reasons and Persons, Part 2
Part 4: Why Be Rational?
Week 12: Kolodny
Required Reading Kolodny, N. “Why Be Rational?”
Optional Further Reading Broome, J. “Have We Reason to Do as Rationality Requires?” Broome, J. “Is Rationality Normative?” Broome, J. “Normative Requirements” Broome, J. “Wide or Narrow Scope?” Kolodny, N. “How Does Coherence Matter?” Kolodny, N. “State or Process Requirements?” Kolodny, N. “Why Be Disposed to Be Coherent?” Korsgaard, C. “The Normativity of Instrumental Reason” Raz, J. “The Myth of Instrumental Rationality” Scanlon, T. M. “Structural Irrationality” Schroeder, M. “Instrumental Mythology” Southwood, N. “Vindicating the Normativity of Rationality”