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    Baard, Patrik 2016. Risk-reducing goals: ideals and abilities when managing complex environmental risks. Journal of Risk Research, Vol. 19, Issue. 2, p. 164.

    Hansson, Sven Ove 2014. The Normative Stance. Theoria, Vol. 80, Issue. 2, p. 113.


Factualism, Normativism and the Bounds of Normativity

  • Thomas M. Besch (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 21 October 2011

ABSTRACT: The paper argues that applications of the principle that “ought” implies “can” (OIC) depend on normative considerations even if the link between “ought” and “can” is logical in nature. Thus, we should reject a common, “factualist” conception of OIC and endorse weak “normativism.” Even if we use OIC as the rule “‘’therefore‘ought not’,” applying OIC is not a mere matter of facts and logic, as factualists claim, but often draws on “proto-ideals” of moral agency.

RESUME: Cet article défend que les applications du principe «“devoir” implique “pouvoir”» (OIC pour l’anglais ‘ought’ implies ‘can’) dépendent de considérations normatives quoique ce lien soit de nature logique. Nous devrions donc rejeter la conception «factuelle» de l’OIC et plutôt défendre un «normativisme» faible. Même en supposant que l’on utilise l’OIC comme étant la règle «“ne pas pouvoir” implique “ne pas devoir”», appliquer l’OIC n’est pas seulement une question de faits et de logique, comme le soutiennent les «factualistes», mais découle souvent de «proto-idéaux» de l’agentivité morale.

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K. Bykvist and A. Hattiangadi 2007Does Thought Imply Ought?Analysis 67: 277–85.

S. Hampshire , W. G. Maclagan , and R. M. Hare 1951Symposium: Freedom of the Will.” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume 25: 161–216.

F. Howard-Snyder 2006‘Cannot’ Implies ‘Not Ought’.” Philosophical Studies 130: 233–46.

J. Kekes 1984‘Ought Implies Can’ and Two Kinds of Morality.” The Philosophical Quarterly 34: 459–67.

A. Montefiore 1958‘Ought’ and ‘Can’.” The Philosophical Quarterly 8: 24–40.

W. Sinnott-Armstrong 1984‘Ought’ Conversationally Implies ‘Can’.” Philosophical Review 93: 249–61.

B. Streumer 2003Does ‘Ought’ Conversationally Implicate ‘Can’?European Journal of Philosophy 11: 219–28.

B. Streumer 2007Reasons and Impossibility.” Philosophical Studies 136: 351–84.

P. B. M Vranas . 2007I Ought, Therefore I Can.” Philosophical Studies 136: 167–216.

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Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review / Revue canadienne de philosophie
  • ISSN: 0012-2173
  • EISSN: 1759-0949
  • URL: /core/journals/dialogue-canadian-philosophical-review-revue-canadienne-de-philosophie
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