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Respect for persons and the moral force of socially constructed norms

Valentini, Laura (2019) Respect for persons and the moral force of socially constructed norms. Noûs. ISSN 0029-4624 (In Press)

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Abstract

When and why do socially constructed norms—including the laws of the land, norms of etiquette, and informal customs—generate moral obligations? I argue that the answer lies in the duty to respect others, specifically to give them what I call “agency respect.” This is the kind of respect that people are owed in light of how they exercise their agency. My central thesis is this: To the extent that (i) existing norms are underpinned by people’s commitments as agents and (ii) they do not conflict with morality, they place moral demands on us on agency-respect grounds. This view of the moral force of socially constructed norms, I suggest, is superior to views that deny the moral force of such norms, and it elegantly explains certain instances of wrongdoing that would otherwise remain unaccounted for.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2019 17:00
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2019 23:20
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/102012

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