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Oxford Studies in Metaethics 12$
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Russ Shafer-Landau

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198805076

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198805076.001.0001

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Locating Morality

Locating Morality

Moral Imperatives as Bodily Imperatives

(p.1) 1 Locating Morality
Oxford Studies in Metaethics 12

Kate Manne

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the possibility of identifying core moral claims with the states of mind which are called bodily imperatives—e.g. the ‘make it stop’ state of mind which is plausibly an aspect of, if not identical with, severe pain states and states such as severe thirst, hunger, sleeplessness, humiliation, terror, and torment. The chapter combines this idea with another, that the desire-like, conative, or ‘world-guiding’ states of mind which make normative claims on agents need not belong to the agent on whom the claim is made, on a broadly Humean or desire-based view in metaethics (‘Democratic Humeanism’, or ‘Democratism’). On the view defended, any subject’s bodily imperatives can make moral claims on any moral agent. The case is made that bodily imperatives are a good candidate for constituting the core moral claims or basic imperatives of morality, which all others are either built from, or at least constrained by.

Keywords:   Humean theory of reasons, desire-based theory of reasons, metaphysics of morality, moral claims, internalism, bodily imperatives, pain

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