Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Practical Philosophy/Ethics

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Department of Philosophy | Practical Philosophy/Ethics | Workshop: Reasons, Ought, and Normative Transmission (18-20 May 2022)

Workshop: Reasons, Ought, and Normative Transmission (18-20 May 2022)

Workshop: Reasons, Ought, and Normative Transmission

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 18-20 May 2022



Matt Bedke, Vancouver (UBC)

Janice Dowell, Syracuse

Jay Jian, Hsinchu (NTHU)

Benjamin Kiesewetter, Berlin (FU & HU)

Felix Koch, Zurich (UZH)

Alessandra Marra, Munich (LMU)

Shyam Nair, Tempe (ASU)

Thomas Schmidt, Berlin (HU)

Justin Snedegar, St Andrews


Many of our reasons for actions are derivative in the sense that they are explained by an instrumental or logical relationship between the supported action and some other action there is reason to perform. The same goes for many truths about what we ought to do. However, the principles governing the transmission from non-derivative to derivative reasons and oughts are a matter of controversial discussion in the philosophy of normativity. This workshop focuses on questions related to the phenomenon of normative transmission, such as the following:


  • Do reasons and oughts transmit to necessary means or necessary consequences?
  • Are the principles of standard deontic logic valid for the ought of practical deliberation?
  • Do reasons transmit to non-necessary means, and how?
  • What is the relation between instrumental transmission principles and instrumental value?
  • Do reasons for action and reasons for attitudes obey different transmission principles and why?
  • Are there interesting relations between practical and epistemic transmission principles?
  • What work can transmission principles do for the explanation of normative phenomena?
  • Which role do transmission principles play for ‘reasons first’-approaches to oughts, obligations, and normativity in general?
  • What are the normative and meta-normative implications of transmission principles, for example for the debate between actualists and possibilists in ethics, the wide-sope account of instrumental rationality, the wrong-kind-of-reasons problem, or for the prospects of desire-based or value-based accounts of practical reasons?



The workshop will take place in person (online participation is not planned). Registration is free of charge but required for participation, and the number of places for registered participants is limited. If you would like to participate, please write an email to the organizer (subject: “Normative Transmission Workshop”) indicating why you are interested in the workshop in one or two sentences. There is no funding available for registered participants, but we may be able to arrange accommodation at Humboldt’s Guesthouse during the workshop at your own expense (please indicate your interest when registering). The deadline for registration is May 1st.


This workshop is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG project “Principles of the Deliberative Ought”).


Organization and contact: Benjamin Kiesewetter, firstname[dot]lastname[at]