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Oxford Studies in Normative EthicsVolume 2$
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Mark Timmons

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199662951

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199662951.001.0001

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Subjective Normativity and Action Guidance 1

Subjective Normativity and Action Guidance 1

(p.45) 3 Subjective Normativity and Action Guidance1
Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics

Andrew Sepielli

Oxford University Press

It's often claimed that when we are uncertain, we must guide our behavior by subjective norms — ones that are, in some sense, appropriately related to the subject's perspective. It is argued that this claim is correct, so long as we understand the uncertainty in question as phenomenally conscious uncertainty. However, there have been very few explicit attempts to explain why this claim is true. In this paper, first steps are taken towards such an explanation. After suggesting a characterization of subjective normative notions in terms of objective normative notions and the notion of trying, several candidate explanations and considered, and it is argued that each is unsatisfactory. The chapter then offers the author's own explanation of why subjective norms are sometimes necessary for the guidance of action, which adverts to what the author calls the “multidirectional” phenomenal character of conscious uncertainty.

Keywords:   subjective, objective, action, guidance, trying, minimal probability, conscious, phenomenology, uncertainty, Jackson

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