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Can Animals Be Moral?$
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Mark Rowlands

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199842001

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199842001.001.0001

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Reconstructing Normativity and Agency

Reconstructing Normativity and Agency

Chapter:
(p.214) 9 Reconstructing Normativity and Agency
Source:
Can Animals Be Moral?
Author(s):

Mark Rowlands

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199842001.003.0009

The failure to account for control over motivations raises two potential problems. First, it seems to entail that no motivations can be normative, and hence no motivation can be moral. If so, no one—not even humans—is capable of moral action. Second, it seems to show that humans are not responsible for what they do. This chapter argues that neither of these apparent entailments is real. There is a way of accounting for normativity independently of control. This account will be objectively consequentialist and evaluationally externalist. There is also a way of accounting for agency (hence responsibility) in broadly compatibilist terms, where agency is regarded as a function of understanding rather than control.

Keywords:   normativity, agency, compatibilism, externalism, consequentialism

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