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  1. Expected Value Under Normative Uncertainty.Franz Dietrich & Brian Jabarian - manuscript
    Maximising expected value is the classic doctrine in choice theory under empirical uncertainty, and a prominent proposal in the emerging philosophical literature on normative uncertainty, i.e., uncertainty about values. But how should Expectationalism be stated in general, when we can face both uncertainties simultaneously, as is common in life? Surprisingly, different possibilities arise, ranging from Ex-Ante to Ex-Post Expectationalism, with several hybrid versions. Expectationalism thus faces the classic dilemma between ex-ante and ex-post approaches. Different expectational theories reach diverging evaluations, use (...)
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  2. Moral Disagreement and Artificial Intelligence.Pamela Robinson - manuscript
    Artificially intelligent systems will be used to make increasingly important decisions about us. Many of these decisions will have to be made without consensus about the relevant moral facts. I argue that what makes moral disagreement especially challenging is that there are two very different ways of handling it. Political solutions aim for a fair compromise, while epistemic solutions aim at moral truth. While proposals for both kinds of solutions can be found in the AI ethics and value alignment literature, (...)
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  3. Metanormative Regress: An Escape Plan.Christian Tarsney - manuscript
    How should you decide what to do when you're uncertain about basic normative principles (e.g., Kantianism vs. utilitarianism)? A natural suggestion is to follow some "second-order" norm: e.g., "comply with the first-order norm you regard as most probable" or "maximize expected choiceworthiness". But what if you're uncertain about second-order norms too -- must you then invoke some third-order norm? If so, it seems that any norm-guided response to normative uncertainty is doomed to a vicious regress. In this paper, I aim (...)
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  4. Rational Moral Ignorance.Zach Barnett - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    What should a person do when, through no fault of her own, she ends up believing a false moral theory? Some suggest that she should act against what the false theory recommends; others argue that she should follow her rationally held moral beliefs. While the former view better accords with intuitions about cases, the latter one seems to enjoy a critical advantage: It seems better able to render moral requirements ‘followable’ or ‘action-guiding.’ But this tempting thought proves difficult to justify. (...)
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  5. Non-Ideal Prescriptions for the Morally Uncertain.Amelia Hicks - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Morally speaking, what should one do when one is morally uncertain? Call this the Moral Uncertainty Question. In this paper, I argue that a non-ideal moral theory provides the best answer to the Moral Uncertainty Question. I begin by arguing for a strong ought-implies-can principle---morally ought implies agentially can---and use that principle to clarify the structure of a compelling non-ideal moral theory. I then describe the ways in which one's moral uncertainty affects one's moral prescriptions: moral uncertainty constrains the set (...)
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  6. The Unity of Reason.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In Clayton Littlejohn John Turri (ed.), Epistemic Norms: New Essays on Action, Belief, and Assertion.
    Cases of reasonable, mistaken belief figure prominently in discussions of the knowledge norm of assertion and practical reason as putative counterexamples to these norms. These cases are supposed to show that the knowledge norm is too demanding and that some weaker norm ought to put in its place. These cases don't show what they're intended to. When you assert something false or treat some falsehood as if it's a reason for action, you might deserve an excuse. You often don't deserve (...)
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  7. Decision-Making Under Moral Uncertainty.Andrew Sepielli - forthcoming - In Karen Jones, Mark C. Timmons & Aaron Zimmerman (eds.), Routledge Handbook on Moral Epistemology.
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  8. Subjective and Objective Reasons.Andrew Sepielli - forthcoming - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford University Press.
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  9. Fallibility for Expressivists.Bob Beddor - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (4):763-777.
    Quasi-realists face the challenge of providing a plausible analysis of acknowledgments of moral fallibility. This paper devel...
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  10. Vive la Différence? Structural Diversity as a Challenge for Metanormative Theories.Christian J. Tarsney - 2020 - Ethics 131 (2):151-182.
    Decision-making under normative uncertainty requires an agent to aggregate the assessments of options given by rival normative theories into a single assessment that tells her what to do in light of her uncertainty. But what if the assessments of rival theories differ not just in their content but in their structure -- e.g., some are merely ordinal while others are cardinal? This paper describes and evaluates three general approaches to this "problem of structural diversity": structural enrichment, structural depletion, and multi-stage (...)
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  11. Decyzje w sytuacjach niepewności normatywnej.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2020 - Przeglad Filozoficzny - Nowa Seria 29 (2):53-72.
    Etycy nie poświęcali dotąd wiele uwagi niepewności, koncentrując się często na skrajnie wyidealizowanych hipotetycznych sytuacjach, w których zarówno kwestie empiryczne (np. stan świata, spektrum możliwych decyzji oraz ich konsekwencje, związki przyczynowe między zdarzeniami), jak i normatywne (np. treść norm, skale wartości) były jasno określone i znane podmiotowi. W poniższym artykule – który jest rezultatem projektu dotyczącego różnych typów decyzji w sytuacjach niepewności związanej z postępem w naukach i technologiach biomedycznych – przedstawię analizę sytuacji niepewności normatywnej, czyli takich, w których podmiot (...)
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  12. Moral Uncertainty and the Criminal Law.Christian Barry & Patrick Tomlin - 2019 - In Kimberly Ferzan & Larry Alexander (eds.), Handbook of Applied Ethics and the Criminal Law. New York: Palgrave.
    In this paper we introduce the nascent literature on Moral Uncertainty Theory and explore its application to the criminal law. Moral Uncertainty Theory seeks to address the question of what we ought to do when we are uncertain about what to do because we are torn between rival moral theories. For instance, we may have some credence in one theory that tells us to do A but also in another that tells us to do B. We examine how we might (...)
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  13. In Defence of the Epistemological Objection to Divine Command Theory.John Danaher - 2019 - Sophia 58 (3):381-400.
    Divine command theories come in several different forms but at their core all of these theories claim that certain moral statuses exist in virtue of the fact that God has commanded them to exist. Several authors argue that this core version of the DCT is vulnerable to an epistemological objection. According to this objection, DCT is deficient because certain groups of moral agents lack epistemic access to God’s commands. But there is confusion as to the precise nature and significance of (...)
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  14. Moral Uncertainty and Value Comparison.Amelia Hicks - 2018 - In Russ Shafer Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 13. Oxford, UK: pp. 161-183.
    Several philosophers have recently argued that decision-theoretic frameworks for rational choice under risk fail to provide prescriptions for choice in cases of moral uncertainty. They conclude that there are no rational norms that are “sensitive” to a decision-maker's moral uncertainty. But in this paper, I argue that one sometimes has a rational obligation to take one's moral uncertainty into account in the course of moral deliberation. I first provide positive motivation for the view that one's moral beliefs can affect what (...)
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  15. The Puzzle of Pure Moral Motivation.Adam Lerner - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13:123-144.
    People engage in pure moral inquiry whenever they inquire into the moral features of some act, agent, or state of affairs without inquiring into the non-moral features of that act, agent, or state of affairs. This chapter argues that ordinary people act rationally when they engage in pure moral inquiry, and so any adequate view in metaethics ought to be able to explain this fact. The Puzzle of Pure Moral Motivation is to provide such an explanation. This chapter argues that (...)
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  16. How Moral Uncertaintism Can Be Both True and Interesting.Andrew Sepielli - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 7.
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  17. Intertheoretic Value Comparison: A Modest Proposal.Christian Tarsney - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (3):324-344.
    In the growing literature on decision-making under moral uncertainty, a number of skeptics have argued that there is an insuperable barrier to rational "hedging" for the risk of moral error, namely the apparent incomparability of moral reasons given by rival theories like Kantianism and utilitarianism. Various general theories of intertheoretic value comparison have been proposed to meet this objection, but each suffers from apparently fatal flaws. In this paper, I propose a more modest approach that aims to identify classes of (...)
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  18. Moral Uncertainty for Deontologists.Christian Tarsney - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (3):505-520.
    Defenders of deontological constraints in normative ethics face a challenge: how should an agent decide what to do when she is uncertain whether some course of action would violate a constraint? The most common response to this challenge has been to defend a threshold principle on which it is subjectively permissible to act iff the agent's credence that her action would be constraint-violating is below some threshold t. But the threshold approach seems arbitrary and unmotivated: what would possibly determine where (...)
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  19. Bayesian Variations: Essays on the Structure, Object, and Dynamics of Credence.Aron Vallinder - 2018 - Dissertation, London School of Economics
    According to the traditional Bayesian view of credence, its structure is that of precise probability, its objects are descriptive propositions about the empirical world, and its dynamics are given by conditionalization. Each of the three essays that make up this thesis deals with a different variation on this traditional picture. The first variation replaces precise probability with sets of probabilities. The resulting imprecise Bayesianism is sometimes motivated on the grounds that our beliefs should not be more precise than the evidence (...)
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  20. Reasoning with Comparative Moral Judgements: An Argument for Moral Bayesianism.Ittay Nissan-Rozen - 2017 - In Rafal Urbaniak & Gillman Payette (eds.), Applications of Formal Philosophy. The Road Less Travelled. Cham: Springer. pp. 113-136.
    The paper discusses the notion of reasoning with comparative moral judgements (i.e judgements of the form “act a is morally superior to act b”) from the point of view of several meta-ethical positions. Using a simple formal result, it is argued that only a version of moral cognitivism that is committed to the claim that moral beliefs come in degrees can give a normatively plausible account of such reasoning. Some implications of accepting such a version of moral cognitivism are discussed.
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  21. Ambivalence, Emotional Perceptions, and the Concern with Objectivity.Hili Razinsky - 2017 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 4 (2):211-228.
    Hili Razinsky, free downlad at link. ABSTRACT: Emotional perceptions are objectivist (objectivity-directed or cognitive) and conscious, both attributes suggesting they cannot be ambivalent. Yet perceptions, including emotional perceptions of value, allow for strictly objectivist ambivalence in which a person unitarily perceives the object in mutually undermining ways. Emotional perceptions became an explicandum of emotion for philosophers who are sensitive to the unique conscious character of emotion, impressed by the objectivist character of perceptions, and believe that the perceptual account solves a (...)
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  22. Difficult Cases and the Epistemic Justification of Moral Belief.Joshua Schechter - 2017 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 12.
    This paper concerns the epistemology of difficult moral cases where the difficulty is not traceable to ignorance about non-moral matters. The paper first argues for a principle concerning the epistemic status of moral beliefs about difficult moral cases. The basic idea behind the principle is that one’s belief about the moral status of a potential action in a difficult moral case is not justified unless one has some appreciation of what the relevant moral considerations are and how they bear on (...)
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  23. Rationality and Moral Risk: A Moderate Defense of Hedging.Christian Tarsney - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Maryland
    How should an agent decide what to do when she is uncertain not just about morally relevant empirical matters, like the consequences of some course of action, but about the basic principles of morality itself? This question has only recently been taken up in a systematic way by philosophers. Advocates of moral hedging claim that an agent should weigh the reasons put forward by each moral theory in which she has positive credence, considering both the likelihood that that theory is (...)
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  24. Action, Deontology, and Risk: Against the Multiplicative Model.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2017 - Ethics 127 (3):674-707.
    Deontological theories face difficulties in accounting for situations involving risk; the most natural ways of extending deontological principles to such situations have unpalatable consequences. In extending ethical principles to decision under risk, theorists often assume the risk must be incorporated into the theory by means of a function from the product of probability assignments to certain values. Deontologists should reject this assumption; essentially different actions are available to the agent when she cannot know that a certain act is in her (...)
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  25. Indeterminate Oughts.J. Robert G. Williams - 2017 - Ethics 127 (3):645-673.
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  26. Ethics and Uncertainty: The Guest Editor’s Introduction.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2017 - Diametros 53:1-5.
    Until very recently, normative theorizing in ethics was frequently conducted without even mentioning uncertainty. Just a few years ago, Sven Ove Hansson described this state of affairs with the slogan: “Ethics still lives in a Newtonian world.” In the new Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Probability, David McCarthy writes that “mainstream moral philosophy has not been much concerned with probability,” understanding probability as “the best-known tool for thinking about uncertainty.” This special predilection for certainty in ethics was surprising since most (...)
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  27. Normatywne implikacje preferencji wobec osób zidentyfikowanych.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2017 - Diametros 51:113-136.
    The results of empirical research show that people prefer to help identified individuals rather than unidentified ones. This preference has an important influence on many private and public decisions, for example concerning vaccination or the distribution of healthcare resources. The aim of this article is to define the terms: “identified”, “unidentified”, “statistical”, and then to analyze three philosophical arguments concerning the normative implications of this preference: 1) contractualism ex ante ; 2) fair distribution of chances and risks; 3) principles regarding (...)
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  28. Moral Uncertainty and Permissibility: Evaluating Option Sets.Christian Barry & Patrick Tomlin - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (6):1-26.
    In this essay, we explore an issue of moral uncertainty: what we are permitted to do when we are unsure about which moral principles are correct. We develop a novel approach to this issue that incorporates important insights from previous work on moral uncertainty, while avoiding some of the difficulties that beset existing alternative approaches. Our approach is based on evaluating and choosing between option sets rather than particular conduct options. We show how our approach is particularly well-suited to address (...)
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  29. Why High-Risk, Non-Expected-Utility-Maximising Gambles Can Be Rational and Beneficial: The Case of HIV Cure Studies.Lara Buchak - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics (2):1-6.
    Some early phase clinical studies of candidate HIV cure and remission interventions appear to have adverse medical risk–benefit ratios for participants. Why, then, do people participate? And is it ethically permissible to allow them to participate? Recent work in decision theory sheds light on both of these questions, by casting doubt on the idea that rational individuals prefer choices that maximise expected utility, and therefore by casting doubt on the idea that researchers have an ethical obligation not to enrol participants (...)
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  30. You Ought to Φ Only If You May Believe That You Ought to Φ.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (265):760-82.
    In this paper I present an argument for the claim that you ought to do something only if you may believe that you ought to do it. More exactly, I defend the following principle about normative reasons: An agent A has decisive reason to φ only if she also has sufficient reason to believe that she has decisive reason to φ. I argue that this principle follows from the plausible assumption that it must be possible for an agent to respond (...)
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  31. Probability in Ethics.David McCarthy - 2016 - In Alan Hájek & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Probability. Oxford University Press. pp. 705–737.
    The article is a plea for ethicists to regard probability as one of their most important concerns. It outlines a series of topics of central importance in ethical theory in which probability is implicated, often in a surprisingly deep way, and lists a number of open problems. Topics covered include: interpretations of probability in ethical contexts; the evaluative and normative significance of risk or uncertainty; uses and abuses of expected utility theory; veils of ignorance; Harsanyi’s aggregation theorem; population size problems; (...)
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  32. Moral Uncertainty and Fetishistic Motivation.Andrew Sepielli - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (11):2951-2968.
    Sometimes it’s not certain which of several mutually exclusive moral views is correct. Like almost everyone, I think that there’s some sense in which what one should do depends on which of these theories is correct, plus the way the world is non-morally. But I also think there’s an important sense in which what one should do depends upon the probabilities of each of these views being correct. Call this second claim “moral uncertaintism”. In this paper, I want to address (...)
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  33. Précis of Knowing Better: Virtue, Deliberation, and Normative Ethics.Daniel Star - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):706-708.
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  34. Meta-Reasoning in Making Moral Decisions Under Normative Uncertainty.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2016 - In Dima Mohammed & Marcin Lewiński (eds.), Argumentation and Reasoned Action. College Publications. pp. 1093-1104.
    I analyze recent discussions about making moral decisions under normative uncertainty. I discuss whether this kind of uncertainty should have practical consequences for decisions and whether there are reliable methods of reasoning that deal with the possibility that we are wrong about some moral issues. I defend a limited use of the decision theory model of reasoning in cases of normative uncertainty.
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  35. Moralna niepewność w argumentacji bioetycznej.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2016 - Filozofia W Praktyce 2 (14).
    Niektórzy twierdzą, że nawet jeśli ktoś nie wierzy, że embriony lub płody ludzkie mają jakiś szczególnie wyróżniony status moralny, to z ostrożności powinien traktować je tak, jak gdyby miały pełny status moralny. Pokażę, dlaczego takie rozumowanie jest niepoprawne.
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  36. Does Religion Deserve a Place in Secular Medicine?Brian D. Earp - 2015 - Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (11):865-866.
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  37. Maximising Expected Value Under Axiological Uncertainty. An Axiomatic Approach.Stefan Riedener - 2015 - Dissertation, Oxford
    The topic of this thesis is axiological uncertainty – the question of how you should evaluate your options if you are uncertain about which axiology is true. As an answer, I defend Expected Value Maximisation (EVM), the view that one option is better than another if and only if it has the greater expected value across axiologies. More precisely, I explore the axiomatic foundations of this view. I employ results from state-dependent utility theory, extend them in various ways and interpret (...)
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  38. The Possibility of an Ongoing Moral Catastrophe.Evan G. Williams - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (5):971-982.
    This article gives two arguments for believing that our society is unknowingly guilty of serious, large-scale wrongdoing. First is an inductive argument: most other societies, in history and in the world today, have been unknowingly guilty of serious wrongdoing, so ours probably is too. Second is a disjunctive argument: there are a large number of distinct ways in which our practices could turn out to be horribly wrong, so even if no particular hypothesized moral mistake strikes us as very likely, (...)
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  39. Should You Look Before You Leap?Andrew Sepielli - 2014 - The Philosophers' Magazine 66:89-93.
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  40. Running Risks Morally.Brian Weatherson - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (1):141-163.
    I defend normative externalism from the objection that it cannot account for the wrongfulness of moral recklessness. The defence is fairly simple—there is no wrong of moral recklessness. There is an intuitive argument by analogy that there should be a wrong of moral recklessness, and the bulk of the paper consists of a response to this analogy. A central part of my response is that if people were motivated to avoid moral recklessness, they would have to have an unpleasant sort (...)
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  41. Moral Uncertainty in Bioethical Argumentation: A New Understanding of the Pro-Life View on Early Human Embryos.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2014 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (6):441-457.
    In this article, I present a new interpretation of the pro-life view on the status of early human embryos. In my understanding, this position is based not on presumptions about the ontological status of embryos and their developmental capabilities but on the specific criteria of rational decisions under uncertainty and on a cautious response to the ambiguous status of embryos. This view, which uses the decision theory model of moral reasoning, promises to reconcile the uncertainty about the ontological status of (...)
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  42. The Effects of Risk on Initial Trust Formation.Svein Tvedt Johansen, Marcus Selart & Kjell Grønhaug - 2013 - Journal of Applied Social Psychology 43:1185-1199.
    This paper seeks to expand our understanding of initial trust by looking at how variation in risk influences the nature of trust and the process of initial trust formation. Four hypotheses were tested in two experiments involving participants with and without work experience. A first hypothesis suggested a positive relationship between a general propensity to trust and initial trust; a second hypothesis, a negative relationship between risk and initial trust; whereas a third hypothesis posited that risk would increase the importance (...)
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  43. Subjective Normativity and Action Guidance.Andrew Sepielli - 2012 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Vol. II. Oxford University Press.
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  44. Moral Uncertainty and Its Consequences.Brian Weatherson - 2002 - Mind 111 (443):693-696.
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