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Standards, Advice, and Practical Reason

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image of Journal of Moral Philosophy

Is there a mode of sincere advice in which the standards of the adviser are put aside in favor of the standards of the advisee? I consider two sorts of cases that appear to be such that the adviser is evaluating things from within the advisee's system of standards even though this system conflicts with her own; and I argue that these cases are best interpreted in ways that dissolve this appearance. I then argue that the nature of sincere advice precludes an adviser's putting aside her own system of standards in favor of a competing system of standards. It follows that, contrary to what some have suggested, it cannot be that practical reason judgments– which are concerned with what an agent has reason to do or not to do and which can figure as advice–evaluate actions from within the agent's (as opposed to the judger's) system of standards.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA, Email:


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