Favorite readings on: Subjectivism

Hoping folks will share with the group their favorite papers on the topic of subjectivism. Perhaps people might add what level they think the paper is most appropriate for (grad seminar, undergrad intro, etc.). A short explanation of what the paper says or what makes it great might be useful as well.

6 Replies to “Favorite readings on: Subjectivism

  1. The first things that occur to me are:

    Foot, “Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives”
    Williams, “Internal and External Reasons”
    Parfit, Part 1 of volume 1 of On What Matters
    Smith, The Moral Problem, chapter 5
    Schroeder, Slaves of the Passions, chapters 5 and 6
    Korsgaard, “Skepticism about Practical Reason”
    Railton, “Facts and Values” & “Moral Realism”
    Rosati, “Persons, Perspectives, and Full Information Accounts of the Good” & “Internalism and the Good for a Person”
    Dorsey,”Subjectivism Without Desire”

  2. I’d nominate two papers from Oxford Studies in Metaethics (Vol 6): Heathwood’s “Desire-Based Theories of Reasons, Pleasure, and Welfare”, and Sobel’s own “Parfit’s Case Against Subjectivism”. Two outstanding defenses of subjectivism. Suitable for advanced undergrads (very clearly written) and up. (Vol 6 was a sensational volume.)

  3. To clarify, the Sobel and Heathwood papers defend very different forms of subjectivism. (Heathwood does not take himself to be a subjectivist about reasons, strictly speaking.)

  4. I really like Street’s “In defense of future Tuesday indifference” (take home: most putative counterexamples to subjectivism are woefully underspecified.

  5. Markovits’ ‘Internal Reasons and the Motivating Intuition’ (expanded over a couple chapters in her Moral Reason) does an excellent job linking the internal reasons to ought implies (psychological) can and has a clear articulation of the Conditional Fallacy. Sobel already mentioned Williams’ ‘Internal and External Reasons but “Internal Reasons and the Obscurity of Blame” is, I believe, easier for students to understand.

    Schroder’s “The Humean Theory of Reasons” (expanded in Slaves of the Passions) is a powerful defense based on the simple idea that some reasons are reasons only for some people.

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