Academic Philosophy Events in the Netherlands
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Geoffrey Sayre-McCord “Do normative facts matter… to what is feasible?”
11 October 2016 @ 11:00 - 13:00
Tuesday 11 October 2016, 11:00-13:00, Roeterseiland Campus (Nieuwe Achtergracht 166), room B3.03
Do normative facts matter… to what is feasible?
Geoffrey Brennan (ANU) and Geoffrey Sayre-McCord (UNC-Chapel Hill – presenting)
Abstract: G.A. Cohen famously argued that fundamental normative principles (say concerning justice) are “fact-free” in such a way that their truth is independent of non-normative facts. For our purposes here, we take Cohen’s claim as given. Our focus is on what might be thought of as the “other side” of this issue – on whether the non-normative facts that determine what it might be feasible for us to accomplish are value-independent. We argue that they are not, that people have reason to think that the normative properties of different possible options can and sometimes do have a crucial impact on their feasibility. In other words: facts about feasibility are partially dependent on Cohen’s ‘fact-free moral principles.’
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