6 Replies to “Favorite readings on: Subjectivism

  1. The first things that occur to me are:

    Foot, “Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives”
    Williams, “Internal and External Reasons”
    Parfit, Part 1 of volume 1 of On What Matters
    Smith, The Moral Problem, chapter 5
    Schroeder, Slaves of the Passions, chapters 5 and 6
    Korsgaard, “Skepticism about Practical Reason”
    Railton, “Facts and Values” & “Moral Realism”
    Rosati, “Persons, Perspectives, and Full Information Accounts of the Good” & “Internalism and the Good for a Person”
    Dorsey,”Subjectivism Without Desire”

  2. I’d nominate two papers from Oxford Studies in Metaethics (Vol 6): Heathwood’s “Desire-Based Theories of Reasons, Pleasure, and Welfare”, and Sobel’s own “Parfit’s Case Against Subjectivism”. Two outstanding defenses of subjectivism. Suitable for advanced undergrads (very clearly written) and up. (Vol 6 was a sensational volume.)

  3. To clarify, the Sobel and Heathwood papers defend very different forms of subjectivism. (Heathwood does not take himself to be a subjectivist about reasons, strictly speaking.)

  4. I really like Street’s “In defense of future Tuesday indifference” (take home: most putative counterexamples to subjectivism are woefully underspecified.

  5. Markovits’ ‘Internal Reasons and the Motivating Intuition’ (expanded over a couple chapters in her Moral Reason) does an excellent job linking the internal reasons to ought implies (psychological) can and has a clear articulation of the Conditional Fallacy. Sobel already mentioned Williams’ ‘Internal and External Reasons but “Internal Reasons and the Obscurity of Blame” is, I believe, easier for students to understand.

    Schroder’s “The Humean Theory of Reasons” (expanded in Slaves of the Passions) is a powerful defense based on the simple idea that some reasons are reasons only for some people.

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