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Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 9$
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Russ Shafer-Landau

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198709299

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198709299.001.0001

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Vindicating Practical Norms

Vindicating Practical Norms

Metasemantic Strategies

Chapter:
(p.45) 3 Vindicating Practical Norms
Source:
Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 9
Author(s):

Hille Paakkunainen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198709299.003.0003

Some ways of updating belief have more epistemic merit than others. Paul Boghossian and Christopher Peacocke have defended varieties of the view that the epistemic merit of certain ways of updating belief is explained by facts about the conditions of possessing certain concepts. In particular, they argue that if it is a condition of possessing a concept C that one must be disposed to update one’s beliefs in accord with a norm N, then beliefs updated in accord with N are thereby epistemically warranted. Following Peacocke, this chapter calls such strategies of vindicating N by appeal to conditions of concept-possession “metasemantic.” Might a parallel metasemantic approach be made to work in vindicating practical norms, norms for updating intentions? After rejecting some blind alleys, it argues for a qualified “yes.” Working with the example of the concept OUGHT TO Φ and an enkratic norm for updating intentions, it argues that we can validly get from premises about the conditions of possessing OUGHT TO Φ to the conclusion that updating intentions enkratically is rationally permissible. The argument generalizes, so that updating intentions in accord with any concept-constituting norm is rationally permissible.

Keywords:   concept, rational, Boghossian, Wedgwood, enkratic, metasemantic

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