Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Mind: Vol. 118, No. 469, January 2009

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Mind: Vol. 118, No. 469, January 2009

Article excerpt

No Good Fit: Why the Fitting Attitude Analysis of Value Fails, KRISTER BYKVIST

According to the fitting attitude analysis of value (FA-analysis), what is good is what it is fitting to favor in some sense. Much of the discussion of this analysis has been concerned with the wrong-reason objection: it can be fitting to have an attitude towards something for reasons that have nothing to do with the value the thing has in itself. Much less attention has been paid to the problem of identifying the relevant attitudes in virtue of which value is supposed to be defined. An old complaint, however, is that the FA-analysis is bound to be circular because the fitting attitude is best seen as an evaluative judgment or an evaluative experience. This paper argues that the challenge to find a noncircular account is deepened by the fact that on many popular nonevaluative understandings of favoring, there are good states of affairs that it is never fitting to favor because it is logically impossible or irrational to favor them. The paper also shows that the remaining candidate of favoring, "imaginative emotional feeling," will generate a new version of the wrong-reason objection, if it is put to use in the FA-account. The essay concludes that the prospects of finding a noncircular FA-analysis look bleak.--Correspondence to: krister.bykvist@jesus.ox.ac.uk

Against Content Normativity, KATHRIN GLUER and ASA WIKFORSS

As meaning's claim to normativity has grown increasingly suspect the normativity thesis has shifted to mental content. This paper distinguishes two versions of content normativism: "CE normativism," according to which it is essential to content that certain "oughts" can be derived from it, and "CD normativism," according to which content is determined by norms in the first place. The paper argues that neither type of normativism withstands scrutiny. CE normativism appeals to the fact that there is an essential connection between content and correctness conditions. However, this fact is by itself normatively innocent, and attempts to add a normative dimension via the normativity of belief ultimately fail. CD normativism, in turn, falls prey to the "dilemma of regress and idleness": the appeal to rules either leads to some form of regress of rules, or the notion of rule-following is reduced to an idle label. …

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