1 Utilitas, vii (1995), 49–54.
2 Broome John, ‘Skorupski on Agent-Neutrality’, Utilitas, vii (1995), 315–17.
3 McNaughton David and Rawling Piers, ‘Agent-Relativity and Terminological Inexactitudes’, Utilitas, vii (1995), 319–25.
4 Utilitarians would also endorse it as an underived or fundamental reason for x to do y. But they would not hold that it was the only fundamental or underived reason for x to do y. Unlike the egoist (i.e. what I called in my previous note the ‘rational egoist’) the utilitarian does not hold that an agent has to establish that doing y gives an expected benefit to him before he recognizes himself to have reason to do y.
5 It would not be enough for McNaughton and Rawling simply to specify, e.g., that it is that duty which one violates when and only when one tells a lie. They would also have to show that, if it is thus specified, it cannot be stated in agent-neutral form. See their rider, mentioned above on p. 239.
6 The agent-neutral reason-predicate is ‘It is wrong to tell lies and y is a lie’. In other words I am taking it that (x)(It is wrong to tell lies andy is a lie → x has reason not to do y).
7 Critique of Practical Reason, trans, by Beck Lewis White, New York, 1956, p. 65.
8 Here I am not assuming that intrinsic ethical value is a primitive concept. One can endorse teleological ethics while holding that the primitive concept, in terms of which intrinsic ethical value is defined, is that of a reason for action. Good and evil would still on this conception be defined prior to the moral law, though not prior to the notion of a reason for action.
9 But a misplaced ‘not’ crept into the text: Skorupski, p. 53.
10 Had McNaughton and Rawling said that the ethical, as against morality itself, is intrinsically impartial I would have agreed: this of course is a substantial stand, not a definitional thesis.
11 Their degree of strength is relative to the facts on which they supervene, and this is why in a proper treatment of their logical form they should be represented as relations rather than in the conditional form ‘p → there is reason to …’. On this see Davidson Donald, ‘How is Weakness of the Will Possible?’, in Essays on Actions and Events, Oxford, 1980, pp. 21–42
– though Davidson would not I think agree that it is facts (as against beliefs) that rationalize.
12 As in my previous note I am omitting a variable ranging over choice-situations open to the agent.
13 Here I borrow points from Skorupski John, ‘Value-pluralism’, in Archard David, ed., Philosophy and Pluralism, Philosophy, Supplementary Volume, xl, Cambridge, 1996, pp. 101–115
14 If one accepts the analysis offered of ‘de se attitudes’ in Lewis David, ‘Attitudes De Dicto and De Se’ Philosophical Papers: Volume I, Oxford, 1983, pp. 133–59.
15 I have benefited from discussion with John Broome and Roger Crisp.