Elliott, Casey Sean (2020). Attributivism. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This is a thesis in three parts. It concerns the normative capacity of attributive goodness. Specifically, it critically evaluates Attributivism, the theory that attributive goodness is fundamentally normative, or that the distribution of that property determines when, whether, and in what way agents ought to act.

The first third develops, refines and defends Attributivism. Doing so is, in part, a ground-clearing exercise. I distil that theory from the arguments of many other philosophers. In doing so I isolate and precisify its core commitments. I defend it from a number of objections.

The second third analyses fundamental normativity. I stipulate that a standard or property is fundamentally normative if its distribution alone can ground normativity. I argue that for anything to be so fundamentally normative, it must minimally meet two criteria. It must be both authoritative and regulatory.

The final third evaluates whether or not attributive goodness satisfies the established criteria, and so whether or not Attributivism is correct. I argue that in its canonical form it isn’t. I then develop a revised view of Attributivism that can satisfy the criteria. I argue, however, that the revised view is unsatisfying in almost every respect. Attributivism, revised or otherwise, should be rejected.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Philosophy
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics


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