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From Normativity to Responsibility$
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Joseph Raz

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199693818

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693818.001.0001

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Reasons: Explanatory and Normative

Reasons: Explanatory and Normative

(p.13) 2 Reasons: Explanatory and Normative
From Normativity to Responsibility

Joseph Raz

Oxford University Press

‘A reason’ has two meanings: explanatory reasons are facts that contribute to an explanation (of anything explained); normative reasons are facts that favour and guide responses, in one’s emotions, beliefs, actions, etc., to how things are. The two kinds of reasons are connected by their connection to the capacity of Reason, or rationality, and by the normative/explanatory nexus, i.e. by the fact that normative reasons can explain the response that they favour. Normative reasons are—potentially—explanatory reasons, but the explanations they provide are of a special kind that presupposes their normative character. The chapter builds on ideas offered by B. Williams, and criticizes J. Broome’s view of the relations between reasons, explanations, and ‘ought-facts’, offering an alternative explanation of ought-propositions.

Keywords:   Bernard Williams, John Broome, reasons, explanations, normativity, ought

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