The anatomy of normative reasons : tracking what normative reasons are via appearances : Master of Arts, 120 credit thesis. EMBARGOED until 24 August 2024.

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Massey University
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This paper sets out to provide an anatomy of normative reasons by showing that normative reasons are not facts, properties, or something else entirely, but rather that they are favouring relations, and that the accuracy conditions for our appearances of normative reasons include the existence of a sole non-natural source of this favouring. The method that this paper employs is to take our appearances of normative reasons, along with their content, as the starting point for analysis. From here, we find that all normative reasons have as their content the following relata: an action, belief, or attitude being favoured; an agent being favoured; the favouring itself; and the consideration in which the favouring is being made. I argue that a normative reason isn’t any of these relata but is instead the relation itself. Since favouring requires a source, I move to find out what this source is. I show that the source is external to our minds, that there is a sole source, and that this source isn’t a mind. The only meta-normative theory which is able to account for this is a monist account where the source of normative reasons is a non-natural entity which we can call the Good.
Embargoed until 24/08/2024