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Weighing Reasons$
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Errol Lord and Barry Maguire

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199315192

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199315192.001.0001

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The Distinction between Justifying and Requiring: Nothing to Fear

The Distinction between Justifying and Requiring: Nothing to Fear

(p.157) 8 The Distinction between Justifying and Requiring: Nothing to Fear
Weighing Reasons

Joshua Gert

Oxford University Press

This chapter collects a number of arguments for a robust distinction between the justifying weight and requiring weight of a given normative practical reason. It then presents a new form of argument for such a distinction: a demonstration that it is already latent in the very different accounts of such reasons supported by Stephen Kearns and Daniel Star, T. M. Scanlon, and Joseph Raz. That the justifying/requiring distinction shows up in views that are so different in other ways—views that, moreover, did not set out explicitly set out to capture or even allow for it—suggests that it is a genuine feature of the practical normative domain. The chapter also shows how a more explicit recognition of a robust justifying/requiring distinction would provide important benefits for proponents of all three views. This too provides some reason to accept it.

Keywords:   justification, requirement, normative reasons, the balance of reasons, supererogation, exclusionary reasons

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