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  1. Maximalism Vs. Omnism About Reasons.Douglas W. Portmore - manuscript
    The performance of one option can entail the performance of another. For instance, I have the option of baking a pumpkin pie as well as the option of baking a pie, and the former entails the latter. Now, suppose that I have both reason to bake a pie and reason to bake a pumpkin pie. This raises the question: Which, if either, is more fundamental than the other? Do I have reason to bake a pie because I have reason to (...)
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  2. Is There a Liberal Principle of Instrumental Transmission?Jan Gertken & Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2018
    Some of our reasons for action are grounded in the fact that the action in question is a means to something else we have reason to do. This raises the question as to which principles govern the transmission of reasons from ends to means. In this paper, we discuss the merits and demerits of a liberal transmission principle, which plays a prominent role in the current literature. The principle states that an agent has an instrumental reason to whenever -ing is (...)
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  3. The Language of Reasons and 'Ought'.Aaron Bronfman & J. L. Dowell - forthcoming - In Daniel Star (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Reasons.
    Here we focus on two questions: What is the proper semantics for deontic modal expressions in English? And what is the connection between true deontic modal statements and normative reasons? Our contribution towards thinking about the first, which makes up the bulk of our paper, considers a representative sample of recent challenges to a Kratzer-style formal semantics for modal expressions, as well as the rival views—Fabrizio Cariani’s contrastivism, John MacFarlane’s relativism, and Mark Schroeder’s ambiguity theory—those challenges are thought to motivate. (...)
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  4. Ambidextrous Reasons (or Why Reasons First's Reasons Aren't Facts).Nathan Robert Howard - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    The wrong kind of reason (WKR) problem is a problem for attempts to analyze normative properties using only facts about the balance of normative reasons, a style of analysis on which the ‘Reasons First’ programme depends. I argue that this problem cannot be solved if the orthodox view of reasons is true --- that is, if each normative reason is numerically identical with some fact, proposition, or state-of-affairs. That’s because solving the WKR problem requires completely distinguishing between the right- and (...)
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  5. The Goals of Moral Worth.Nathan Robert Howard - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics.
    While it is tempting to suppose that an act has moral worth just when and because it is motivated by sufficient moral reasons, philosophers have, largely, come to doubt this analysis. Doubt is rooted in two claims. The first is that some facts can motivate a given act in multiple ways, not all of which are consistent with moral worth. The second is the orthodox view that normative reasons are facts. I defend the tempting analysis by proposing and defending a (...)
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  6. Rationality as the Rule of Reason.Antti Kauppinen - forthcoming - Noûs.
    The demands of rationality are linked both to our subjective normative perspective (given that rationality is a person-level concept) and to objective reasons or favoring relations (given that rationality is non-contingently authoritative for us). In this paper, I propose a new way of reconciling the tension between these two aspects: roughly, what rationality requires of us is having the attitudes that correspond to our take on reasons in the light of our evidence, but only if it is competent. I show (...)
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  7. Weighing Explanations.Stephen Kearns & Daniel Star - forthcoming - In Andrew Reisner & Iwao Hirose (eds.), Weighing and Reasoning: A Festschrift for John Broome. Oxford University Press.
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  8. Objectivism and Subjectivism in Epistemology.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In Veli Mitova (ed.), The Factive Turn in Epistemology. Cambridge University Press.
    There is a kind of objectivism in epistemology that involves the acceptance of objective epistemic norms. It is generally regarded as harmless. There is another kind of objectivism in epistemology that involves the acceptance of an objectivist account of justification, one that takes the justification of a belief to turn on its accuracy. It is generally regarded as hopeless. It is a strange and unfortunate sociological fact that these attitudes are so prevalent. Objectivism about norms and justification stand or fall (...)
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  9. Determined by Reasons: A Competence Account of Acting for a Normative Reason, by Susanne Mantel. Review for Mind. [REVIEW]Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - Mind.
    A review of Susanne Mantel's book, Determined by Reasons (Routledge).
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  10. “Adding Up” Reasons: Lessons for Reductive and Non-Reductive Approaches.Shyam Nair - forthcoming - Ethics.
    How do multiple reasons combine to support a conclusion about what to do or believe? This question raises two challenges: (1) how can we represent the strength of a reason? (2) how do the strengths of multiple reasons combine?. Analogous challenges about confirmation have been answered using probabilistic tools. Can reductive and non-reductive theories of reasons use these tools to answer their challenges? Yes, or more exactly: Reductive theories can answer both challenges. Non-reductive theories, with the help of a (new?) (...)
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  11. How Can There Be Reasoning to Action?John Schwenkler - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    In general we think of reasoning as a way of moving from some body of evidence to a belief that is drawn as a conclusion from it. But is it possible for reasoning to conclude in action, i.e., in a person’s intentionally doing one thing or another? In PRACTICAL SHAPE Jonathan Dancy answers 'Yes', on the grounds that "when an agent deliberates well and then acts accordingly, the action done is of the sort most favoured by the considerations rehearsed, taken (...)
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  12. Competing Reasons.Justin Snedegar - forthcoming - In Jessica Brown & Mona Simion (eds.), Reasons, Justification, and Defeat. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This chapter investigates different ways that pro tanto reasons bearing on our options can compete with one another in order to determine the overall normative status of those options. It argues for two key claims: (i) any theory of this competition must include a distinct role for reasons against, in addition to reasons for, and (ii) any theory must allow for comparative verdicts about how strongly supported the options are by the reasons, rather than simply which options are permissible or (...)
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  13. Reasons, Competition, and Latitude.Justin Snedegar - forthcoming - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 16. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    The overall moral status of an option—whether it is required, permissible, forbidden, or something we really should do—is explained by competition between the contributory reasons bearing on that option and the alternatives. A familiar challenge for accounts of this competition is to explain the existence of latitude: there are usually multiple permissible options, rather than a single required option. One strategy is to appeal to distinctions between reasons that compete in different ways. Philosophers have introduced various kinds of non-requiring reasons (...)
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  14. How Important Are Possessed Reasons?Jonathan Way - forthcoming - Analysis.
    Central to Errol Lord’s The Importance of Being Rational is the notion of a possessed (objective, normative) reason. For Lord, rationality is a matter of correctly responding to possessed reasons, what rationality requires and permits is that we react in ways that are appropriate given our possessed reasons, and we ought – full stop – to react in ways that are decisively supported by our possessed reasons. Thus for Lord, possessed (objective, normative) reasons are very important indeed. This paper raises (...)
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  15. Guided by Guided by the Truth: Objectivism and Perspectivism in Ethics and Epistemology.Daniel Whiting - forthcoming - In A. K. Flowerree & Baron Reed (eds.), Towards an Expansive Epistemology: Norms, Action, and the Social Sphere. Routledge.
    According to ethical objectivism, what a person should do depends on the facts, as opposed to their perspective on the facts. A long-standing challenge to this view is that it fails to accommodate the role that norms play in guiding a person’s action. Roughly, if the facts that determine what a person should do lie beyond their ken, they cannot inform a person’s deliberations. This paper explores two recent developments of this line of thought. Both focus on the epistemic counterpart (...)
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  16. Reasons As Evidence Against Ought-Nots.Kok Yong Lee - 2021 - Philosophical Papers 49 (3):431-455.
    Reasons evidentialism is the view that normative reasons can be analyzed in terms of evidence about oughts (i.e., propositions concerning whether or not S ought to phi). In this paper, I defend a new reason-evidentialist account according to which normative reasons are evidence against propositions of the form S ought not to phi. The arguments for my view have two strands. First of all, I argue that my view can account for three difficulty cases, cases where (i) a fact is (...)
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  17. Aesthetic Reasons and the Demands They (Do Not) Make.Daniel Whiting - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (2):407-427.
    What does the aesthetic ask of us? What claims do the aesthetic features of the objects and events in our environment make on us? My answer in this paper is: that depends. Aesthetic reasons can only justify feelings – they cannot demand them. A corollary of this is that there are no aesthetic obligations to feel, only permissions. However, I argue, aesthetic reasons can demand actions – they do not merely justify them. A corollary of this is that there are (...)
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  18. How Do Reasons Transmit to Non-Necessary Means?Benjamin Kiesewetter & Jan Gertken - 2020 - Tandf: Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-15.
    Which principles govern the transmission of reasons from ends to means? Some philosophers have suggested a liberal transmission principle, according to which agents have an instrumental reason for an action whenever this action is a means for them to do what they have non-instrumental reason to do. In this paper, we (i) discuss the merits and demerits of the liberal transmission principle, (ii) argue that there are good reasons to reject it, and (iii) present an alternative, less liberal transmission principle, (...)
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  19. Options Must Be External.Justis Koon - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1175-1189.
    Brian Hedden has proposed that any successful account of options for the subjective “ought” must satisfy two constraints: first, it must ensure that we are able to carry out each of the options available to us, and second, it should guarantee that the set of options available to us supervenes on our mental states. In this paper I show that, due to the ever-present possibility of Frankfurt-style cases, these two constraints jointly entail that no agent has any options at any (...)
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  20. Redundant Reasons.Daniel Wodak - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (2):266-278.
    It is commonly held that p is a reason for A to ϕ only if p explains why A ought to ϕ. I argue that this view must be rejected because there are reasons for A to ϕ that would be redundant in any ex...
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  21. Internal Reasons and the Boy Who Cried Wolf.Samuel Asarnow - 2019 - Ethics 130 (1):32-58.
    Reasons internalists claim that facts about normative reasons for action are facts about which actions would promote an agent’s goals and values. Reasons internalism is popular, even though paradigmatic versions have moral consequences many find unwelcome. This article reconstructs an influential but understudied argument for reasons internalism, the “if I were you” argument, which is due to Bernard Williams and Kate Manne. I raise an objection to the argument and argue that replying to it requires reasons internalists to accept controversial (...)
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  22. Tim Henning, From a Rational Point of View: How We Represent Subjective Perspectives in Practical Discourse. [REVIEW]Samuel Asarnow - 2019 - Ethics 130 (1):113-118.
    Reasons internalists claim that facts about normative reasons for action are facts about which actions would promote an agent’s goals and values. Reasons internalism is popular, even though paradigmatic versions have moral consequences many find unwelcome. This article reconstructs an influential but understudied argument for reasons internalism, the “if I were you” argument, which is due to Bernard Williams and Kate Manne. I raise an objection to the argument and argue that replying to it requires reasons internalists to accept controversial (...)
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  23. Probabilistic Promotion and Ability.Luke Elson - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
    We often have some reason to do actions insofar as they promote outcomes or states of affairs, such as the satisfaction of a desire. But what is it to promote an outcome? I defend a new version of 'probabilism about promotion'. According to Minimal Probabilistic Promotion, we promote some outcome when we make that outcome more likely than it would have been if we had done something else. This makes promotion easy and reasons cheap.
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  24. The Value of Rationality. [REVIEW]Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2019 - Ethics 129 (3):501-508.
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  25. Being More Realistic About Reasons: On Rationality and Reasons Perspectivism.Clayton Littlejohn - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):605-627.
    This paper looks at whether it is possible to unify the requirements of rationality with the demands of normative reasons. It might seem impossible to do because one depends upon the agent’s perspective and the other upon features of the situation. Enter Reasons Perspectivism. Reasons perspectivists think they can show that rationality does consist in responding correctly to reasons by placing epistemic constraints on these reasons. They think that if normative reasons are subject to the right epistemic constraints, rational requirements (...)
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  26. Normative Reasons as Reasons Why We Ought.Jacob M. Nebel - 2019 - Mind 128 (510):459-484.
    I defend the view that a reason for someone to do something is just a reason why she ought to do it. This simple view has been thought incompatible with the existence of reasons to do things that we may refrain from doing or even ought not to do. For it is widely assumed that there are reasons why we ought to do something only if we ought to do it. I present several counterexamples to this principle and reject some (...)
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  27. Commitment and the Second-Person Standpoint.Janis Schaab - 2019 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 73 (4):511-532.
    On Chang's voluntarist account of commitments, when we commit to φ, we employ the 'normative powers' of our will to give ourselves a reason to φ that we would otherwise not have had. I argue that Chang's account, by itself, does not have sufficient conceptual resources to reconcile the normative significance of commitments with their alleged fundamentally volitional character. I suggest an alternative, second-personal account of commitment, which avoids this problem. On this account, the volitional act involved in committing is (...)
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  28. Racje wewnętrzne i zewnętrzne.Bernard Williams & Tomasz Żuradzki - 2019 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 67 (1):231-246.
    Artykuł, opublikowany po raz pierwszy w 1979 r., jest jednym z najczęściej cytowanych tekstów filozoficznych z drugiej połowy XX wieku. Tekst Bernarda Williamsa zainicjował kilka ważnych debat, toczących się do dziś w etyce i filozofii działania. Zaproponowana przez niego interpretacja pojęcia racji działania jest, z jednej strony, niezwykle wpływowa, ale z drugiej bardzo niejednoznaczna i często krytykowana. Williams broni stanowiska, które z czasem zaczęto określać jako internalizm racji: pewne względy są racjami działania dla danego podmiotu tylko wtedy, gdy mają ścisły (...)
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  29. Reasons, Evidence, and Explanations.John Brunero - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 321-341.
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  30. Constitutivism About Practical Reasons.Paul Katsafanas - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 367-394.
    This paper introduces constitutivism about practical reason, which is the view that we can justify certain normative claims by showing that agents become committed to these claims simply in virtue of acting. According to this view, action has a certain structural feature – a constitutive aim, principle, or standard – that both constitutes events as actions and generates a standard of assessment for action. We can use this standard of assessment to derive normative claims. In short, the authority of certain (...)
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  31. How Reasons Are Sensitive to Available Evidence.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2018 - In Conor McHugh, Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Normativity: Epistemic and Practical. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 90-114.
    In this paper, I develop a theory of how claims about an agent’s normative reasons are sensitive to the epistemic circumstances of this agent, which preserves the plausible ideas that reasons are facts and that reasons can be discovered in deliberation and disclosed in advice. I argue that a plausible theory of this kind must take into account the difference between synchronic and diachronic reasons, i.e. reasons for acting immediately and reasons for acting at some later point in time. I (...)
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  32. Contrary-to-Duty Scenarios, Deontic Dilemmas, and Transmission Principles.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2018 - Ethics 129 (1):98-115.
    Actualists hold that contrary-to-duty scenarios give rise to deontic dilemmas and provide counterexamples to the transmission principle, according to which we ought to take the necessary means to actions we ought to perform. In an earlier article, I have argued, contrary to actualism, that the notion of ‘ought’ that figures in conclusions of practical deliberation does not allow for deontic dilemmas and validates the transmission principle. Here I defend these claims, together with my possibilist account of contrary-to-duty scenarios, against Stephen (...)
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  33. Subjective Unpossessed Reasons.Arturs Logins - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (4):262-270.
    A common assumption in contemporary debates about normative reasons is that ‘subjective’ and ‘possessed’ are two names for the same sort of reason. This paper challenges that assumption. Given our cognitive limitations, it is unsurprising that normative reasons that derive from what we know and reasons that we are in a position to use in our deliberation are not always one and the same.
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  34. Scope or Focus? Normative Focus and the Metaphysics of Normative Relations.Nicholas Shackel - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy 115 (6):281-312.
    A prolonged debate about the nature of norms has been conducted in terms of the scope of a modal operator. Here I argue that the features of what I call Normative Focus are more fundamental than scope. We shall see limitations of scope contrasted with better analysis in terms of Normative Focus. Some authors address such limitations by extending what they mean by scope. I show that scope is still not doing the work: what does it is their elicitation of (...)
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  35. Constructivism About Reasons.Nicholas Southwood - 2018 - In D. Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford University Press.
    Given constructivism’s enduring popularity and appeal, it is perhaps something of a surprise that there remains considerable uncertainty among many philosophers about what constructivism is even supposed to be. My aim in this article is to make some progress on the question of how constructivism should be understood. I begin by saying something about what kind of theory constructivism is supposed to be. Next, I consider and reject both the standard proceduralist characterization of constructivism and also Sharon Street’s ingenious standpoint (...)
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  36. Constructivism and the Normativity of Practical Reason.Nicholas Southwood - 2018 - In K. Jones & F. Schroeter (eds.), The Many Moral Rationalisms. Oxford University Press.
    Constructivists hold that truths about practical reasons are to be explained in terms of truths about the correct exercise of practical reason (rather than vice versa). But what is the normative status of the correctness-defining standards of practical reason? The problem is that constructivism appears to presuppose the truth of two theses that seem hard to reconcile. First, for constructivism to be remotely plausible, the relevant standards must be genuinely (and not merely formally or minimally) normative. Second, to avoid circularity, (...)
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  37. Right in Some Respects: Reasons as Evidence.Daniel Whiting - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (9):2191-2208.
    What is a normative reason for acting? In this paper, I introduce and defend a novel answer to this question. The starting-point is the view that reasons are right-makers. By exploring difficulties facing it, I arrive at an alternative, according to which reasons are evidence of respects in which it is right to perform an act, for example, that it keeps a promise. This is similar to the proposal that reasons for a person to act are evidence that she ought (...)
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  38. The Reasoning View and Defeasible Practical Reasoning.Samuel Asarnow - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (3):614-636.
    According to the Reasoning View about normative reasons, facts about normative reasons for action can be understood in terms of facts about the norms of practical reasoning. I argue that this view is subject to an overlooked class of counterexamples, familiar from debates about Subjectivist theories of normative reasons. Strikingly, the standard strategy Subjectivists have used to respond to this problem cannot be adapted to the Reasoning View. I think there is a solution to this problem, however. I argue that (...)
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  39. Norm-Expressivism and Regress.Tanyi Attila - 2017 - South African Journal of Philosophy 36 (3):362-376.
    This paper aims to investigate Allan Gibbard’s norm-expressivist account of normativity. In particular, the aim is to see whether Gibbard’s theory is able to account for the normativity of reason-claims. For this purpose, I first describe how I come to targeting Gibbard’s theory by setting out the main tenets of quasi-realism cum expressivism. After this, I provide a detailed interpretation of the relevant parts of Gibbard’s theory. I argue that the best reading of his account is the one that takes (...)
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  40. The Wrong Kind of Reasons.Nye Howard - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. New York: Routledge. pp. 340-354.
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  41. Précis zu The Normativity of Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2017 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 71 (4):560-4.
    This is a summary of the main ideas of my book 'The Normativity of Rationality'.
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  42. Repliken.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2017 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 71 (4):578-83.
    This a a reply to Gerhard Ernst's and Erasmus Mayr's critical comments on my book 'The Normativity of Rationality'.
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  43. Can Reasons Be Propositions? Against Dancy's Attack on Propositionalism.Attila Tanyi & Morganti Matteo - 2017 - Theoria 83 (3):185-205.
    The topic of this article is the ontology of practical reasons. We draw a critical comparison between two views. According to the first, practical reasons are states of affairs; according to the second, they are propositions. We first isolate and spell out in detail certain objections to the second view that can be found only in embryonic form in the literature – in particular, in the work of Jonathan Dancy. Next, we sketch possible ways in which one might respond to (...)
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  44. Perspectivism and the Argument From Guidance.Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (2):361-374.
    Perspectivists hold that what you ought to do is determined by your perspective, that is, your epistemic position. Objectivists hold that what you ought to do is determined by the facts irrespective of your perspective. This paper explores an influential argument for perspectivism which appeals to the thought that the normative is action guiding. The crucial premise of the argument is that you ought to φ only if you are able to φ for the reasons which determine that you ought (...)
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  45. Rational Internalism.Samuel Asarnow - 2016 - Ethics 127 (1):147-178.
    I describe and motivate Rational Internalism, a principle concerning the relationship between motivating reasons (which explain actions) and normative reasons (which justify actions). I use this principle to construct a novel argument against Objectivist theories of normative reasons, which hold that facts about normative reasons can be analyzed in terms of an independently specified class of normative or evaluative facts. I then argue for an alternative theory of normative reasons, the Reasoning View, which is consistent with both Rational Internalism and (...)
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  46. Bearing the Weight of Reasons.Stephen Kearns - 2016 - In Barry Maguire & Errol Lord (eds.), Weighing Reasons. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 173-190.
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  47. 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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  48. Do Reasons and Evidence Share the Same Residence?Clayton Littlejohn - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):720-727.
    This is part of an authors meets critics session on Daniel Star's wonderful book, Knowing Better. I discuss a potential problem with Kearns and Star's Reasons as Evidence thesis. The issue has to do with the difficulties we face is we treat normative reasons as evidence and impose no possession conditions on evidence. On such a view, it's hard to see how practical reasoning could be a non-monotonic process. One way out of the difficulty would be to allow for (potent) (...)
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  49. On the Connection Between Normative Reasons and the Possibility of Acting for Those Reasons.Neil Sinclair - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (5):1211-1223.
    According to Bernard Williams, if it is true that A has a normative reason to Φ then it must be possible that A should Φ for that reason. This claim is important both because it restricts the range of reasons which agents can have and because it has been used as a premise in an argument for so-called ‘internalist’ theories of reasons. In this paper I rebut an apparent counterexamples to Williams’ claim: Schroeder’s example of Nate. I argue that this (...)
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  50. The Motivation Question.Nicholas Southwood - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3413-3430.
    How does it happen that our beliefs about what we ought to do cause us to intend to do what we believe we ought to do? This is what John Broome calls the "motivation question." Broome’s answer to the motivation question is that we can bring ourselves, by our own efforts, to intend to do what we believe we ought to do by exercising a special agential capacity: the capacity to engage in what he calls enkratic reasoning. My aim is (...)
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