Norms in Action: Metaethics and the Neo-Kantian Critique


Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowships




The maturing of metaethics has been accompanied by relatively unarticulated, essentially neo-Kantian discontent; metaethics supposedly makes a mistake in approaching our ethical practices from a theoretical or scientific point of view. This project articulates and assesses this discontent, by considering two hypotheses: (i) explicit versions of this discontent misunderstand metaethics; however, (ii) behind this discontent, and in the historical views that often inform it, lie insights into the nature of agency that can radically reshape metaethics, philosophy of action, and their relation to each other. This approach combines philosophy of action and an examination of the oft-ignored origins of these debates in nineteenth-century neo-Kantianism.