Conference Announcement: Normative Reasons, Explanation, and Grounding

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Speakers will be:

Singa Behrens (Bielefeld)

Selim Berker (Harvard)

John Broome (Oxford)

Daniel Fogal (NYU)

Benjamin Kiesewetter (Bielefeld)

Stephanie Leary (McGill)

Olle Risberg (Uppsala)

Eva Schmidt (Dortmund)

Eliot Watkins (Bochum)

Shlomit Wygoda Cohen (Van Leer Institute)

The concept of a normative reason is often taken to be one of the key concepts to understanding normativity. Normative reasons, i.e., the factors that count in favor of (or against) actions or attitudes, are distinguished from the very general class of explanatory reasons or reasons why something is the case. The relationship between normative and explanatory reasons is, however, a matter of controversial discussion in the theory of normative reasons. This debate concerns explanations of normative facts and therefore non-causal explanatory reasons. In contemporary metaphysics, the concept of grounding has shaped the study of non-causal explanatory reasons. Theories of grounding might help us better understand normative reasons and their relation to explanatory reasons in the normative domain, or more generally, the structure of normativity.

This conference will focus on questions concerning the relationship between normative and explanatory reasons (with a particular focus on grounds), such as the following:

  • Can the normative reasons relation be analyzed in terms of an explanation relation and some other normative notion, and how?
  • What work can a theory of ground do for approaches that take reasons facts to be (normatively) fundamental? Are reasons facts grounded or ungrounded? Can all normative facts be grounded in reasons facts?
  • Which ground-theoretic questions arise for non-naturalistic and naturalistic approaches that take reasons to be normatively fundamental?
  • What role do relations of ground play for distinctions within the domain of normative reasons, for example, between genuine and derivative normative reasons, and between practical and epistemic normative reasons?
  • Is there a distinctive normative form of explanation (or even a normative grounding relation), and how is it related to normative reasons?
  • Are there any structural features of grounding that make its application inapt for certain meta-normative purposes?

Participation is free, but registration is required and places are limited.

Registration deadline: 15 October 2024

Registration: normativity(at)uni-bielefeld(dot)de

ERC Grant “The Structure of Normativity”

Prof. Dr. Benjamin Kiesewetter
Chair of Practical Philosophy
Department of Philosophy

Bielefeld University
P/O 100131, 33501 Bielefeld
Email: normativity(at)uni-bielefeld(dot)de

Design & Development: Studio Nina Reisinger