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  1. Epistemic Normativity Without Epistemic Teleology.Benjamin Kiesewetter - manuscript
    This article is concerned with a puzzle that arises from three initially plausible assumptions that form an inconsistent triad: (1) Epistemic reasons are normative reasons (normativism); (2) reasons are normative only if conformity with them is good (the reasons/value-link); (3) conformity with epistemic reasons need not be good (the nihilist assumption). I start by defending the reasons/value-link, arguing that normativists need to reject the nihilist assumption. I then argue that the most familiar view that denies the nihilist assumption – epistemic (...)
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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. Ignorance and Moral Judgment: Testing the Logical Priority of the Epistemic.Parker Crutchfield, Scott Scheall, Cristal Cardoso Sao Mateus, Hayley Dawn Brown & Mark Rzeszutek - forthcoming - Consciousness and Cognition.
    It has recently been argued that a person’s moral judgments (about both their own and others’ actions) are constrained by the nature and extent of their relevant ignorance and, thus, that such judgments are determined in the first instance by the person’s epistemic circumstances. It has been argued, in other words, that the epistemic is logically prior to other normative (e.g., ethical, prudential, pecuniary) considerations in human decision-making, that these other normative considerations figure in decision-making only after (logically and temporally) (...)
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  5. The Relation between Moral Reasons and Moral Requirement.Brendan de Kenessey - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    What is the relation between moral reasons and moral requirement? Specifically: what relation does an action have to bear to one’s moral reasons in order to count as morally required? This paper defends the following answer to this question: an action is morally required just in case the moral reasons in favor of that action are enough on their own to outweigh all of the reasons, moral and nonmoral, to perform any alternative. I argue that this decisive moral reason view (...)
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  6. 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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  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. Review of Fitting Things Together: Coherence and the Demands of Structural Rationality[REVIEW]Benjamin Kiesewetter - forthcoming - Mind.
    This a review of Alex Worsnip's book 'Fitting Things Together: Coherence and the Demands of Structural Rationality'.
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  9. Perspectives and Good Dispositions.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    I begin with various cases that have been used to motivate the need for a more “subjective” kind of evaluation, and accompanying norms, in both the practical and theoretical domains. I outline a broad paradigm for thinking about such evaluations, which I call perspectivist. According to this paradigm, what one ought to do and believe is fixed by one’s perspective, which is a kind of representation of the world (e.g. the propositions constituting one’s evidence). My purpose is to sketch and (...)
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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. n-1 Guilty Men.Clayton Littlejohn & Julien Dutant - forthcoming - In The Future of Normativity. Oxford University Press.
    We argue that there is nothing that can do the work that normative reasons are expected to do. A currently popular view is that in any given situation, a set of normative reasons (understood as a set of facts, typically about the agent’s situation) always determines the ways we prospectively should or should not respond. We discuss an example that we think shows no such collection of facts could have this normative significance. A radical response might be to dispense with (...)
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  13. Doxastic Dilemmas and Epistemic Blame.Sebastian Schmidt - forthcoming - Philosophical Issues.
    What should we believe when epistemic and practical reasons pull in opposite directions? The traditional view states that there is something that we ought epistemically to believe and something that we ought practically to (cause ourselves to) believe, period. More recent accounts challenge this view, either by arguing that there is something that we ought simpliciter to believe, all epistemic and practical reasons considered (the weighing view), or by denying the normativity of epistemic reasons altogether (epistemic anti-normativism). I argue against (...)
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  14. Deliberative Control and Eliminativism about Reasons for Emotions.Conner Schultz - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Are there are normative reasons to have – or refrain from having – certain emotions? The dominant view is that there are. I disagree. In this paper, I argue for Strong Eliminativism – the view that there are no reasons for emotions. My argument for this claim has two premises. The first premise is that there is a deliberative constraint on reasons: a reason for an agent to have an attitude must be able to feature in that agent’s deliberation to (...)
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  15. Guided by Guided by the Truth: Objectivism and Perspectivism in Ethics and Epistemology.Daniel Whiting - forthcoming - In Baron Reed & A. K. Flowerree (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. A range of replies.Daniel Whiting - 2024 - Asian Journal of Philosophy 3 (16).
    This is a reply by the author to the contributors to a symposium on the book, The Range of Reasons (Oxford University Press, 2021).
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  17. Supererogation and the Limits of Reasons.Nathaniel Baron-Schmitt & Daniel Munoz - 2023 - In David Heyd (ed.), Handbook of Supererogation. Springer Nature Singapore. pp. 165-180.
    We argue that supererogation cannot be understood just in terms of reasons for action. In addition to reasons, a theory of supererogation must include prerogatives, which can make an action permissible without counting in favor of doing it.
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  18. The Weight of Reasons.Daniel Fogal & Olle Risberg - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (9):2573-2596.
    This paper addresses the question of how the ‘weight’ or ‘strength’ of normative reasons is best understood. We argue that, given our preferred analysis of reasons as sources of normative support, this question has a straightforward answer: the weight of a normative reason is simply a matter of how much support it provides. We also critically discuss several competing views of reasons and their weight. These include views which take reasons to be normatively fundamental, views which analyze reasons as evidence (...)
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  19. Connexivity in the Logic of Reasons.Andrea Iacona - 2023 - Studia Logica (1-2):1-18.
    This paper discusses some key connexive principles construed as principles about reasons, that is, as principles that express logical properties of sentences of the form ‘_p_ is a reason for _q_’. Its main goal is to show how the theory of reasons outlined by Crupi and Iacona, which is based on their evidential account of conditionals, yields a formal treatment of such sentences that validates a restricted version of the principles discussed, overcoming some limitations that affect most extant accounts of (...)
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  20. The Epistemic vs. the Practical.Antti Kauppinen - 2023 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 18:137-162.
    What should we believe if epistemic and practical reasons for belief point in different directions? I argue that there’s no single answer, but rather a Dualism of Theoretical and Practical Reason is true: what we epistemically ought to believe and what we practically ought to believe may come apart, and both are independently authoritative. I argue in particular against recently popular views that subordinate the epistemic to the practical: it’s not the case that epistemic reasons bear on what we ‘just (...)
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  21. Egalitarian Justice as a Challenge for the Value-Based Theory of Practical Reasons.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2023 - In Andrés Garcia, Mattias Gunnemyr & Jakob Werkmäster (eds.), Value, Morality & Social Reality: Essays dedicated to Dan Egonsson, Björn Petersson & Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen. Department of Philosophy, Lund University. pp. 239-249.
    In this essay, I argue that the objections that have been raised against the view that equality is intrinsically valuable also provide objections to the view that all practical reasons can be explained in terms of value. Plausible egalitarian principles entail that under certain conditions people have claims to an equal share. These claims entail reasons to distribute goods equally that cannot be explained by value if equality has no intrinsic value.
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  22. Second‐Personal Approaches to Moral Obligation.Janis David Schaab - 2023 - Philosophy Compass 18 (3):1 - 11.
    According to second‐personal approaches to moral obligation, the distinctive normative features of moral obligation can only be explained in terms of second‐personal relations, i.e. the distinctive way persons relate to each other as persons. But there are important disagreements between different groups of second‐personal approaches. Most notably, they disagree about the nature of second‐personal relations, which has consequences for the nature of the obligations that they purport to explain. This article aims to distinguish these groups from each other, highlight their (...)
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  23. Demystifying Normativity: Morality, Error Theory, and the Authority of Norms.Eline Gerritsen - 2022 - Dissertation, University of St. Andrews, University of Stirling & University of Groningen
    We are subject to many different norms telling us how to act, from moral norms to etiquette rules and the law. While some norms may simply be ignored, we live under the impression that others matter for what we ought to do. How can we make sense of this normative authority some norms have? Does it fit into our naturalist worldview? Many philosophers claim it does not. Normativity is conceived to be distinct from ordinary natural properties, making it mysterious. The (...)
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  24. Rationality is Not Coherence.Nora Heinzelmann - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 74 (1):312-332.
    According to a popular account, rationality is a kind of coherence of an agent’s mental states and, more specifically, a matter of fulfilling norms of coherence. For example, in order to be rational, an agent is required to intend to do what they judge they ought to and can do. This norm has been called ‘Enkrasia’. Another norm requires that, ceteris paribus, an agent retain their intention over time. This has been called ‘Persistence of Intention’. This paper argues that thus (...)
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  25. Supererogation and Conditional Obligation.Daniel Muñoz & Theron Pummer - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (5):1429–1443.
    There are plenty of classic paradoxes about conditional obligations, like the duty to be gentle if one is to murder, and about “supererogatory” deeds beyond the call of duty. But little has been said about the intersection of these topics. We develop the first general account of conditional supererogation, with the power to solve familiar puzzles as well as several that we introduce. Our account, moreover, flows from two familiar ideas: that conditionals restrict quantification and that supererogation emerges from a (...)
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  26. The Authoritative Normativity of Fitting Attitudes.R. A. Rowland - 2022 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 17:108-137.
    Some standards, such as moral and prudential standards, provide genuinely or authoritatively normative reasons for action. Other standards, such as the norms of masculinity and the mafia’s code of omerta, provide reasons but do not provide genuinely normative reasons for action. This paper first explains that there is a similar distinction amongst attitudinal standards: some attitudes (belief, desire) have standards that seem to give rise to genuine normativity; others (boredom, envy) do not. This paper gives a value-based account of which (...)
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  27. On believing indirectly for practical reasons.Sebastian Https://Orcidorg Schmidt - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (6):1795-1819.
    It is often argued that there are no practical reasons for belief because we could not believe for such reasons. A recent reply by pragmatists is that we can often believe for practical reasons because we can often cause our beliefs for practical reasons. This paper reveals the limits of this recently popular strategy for defending pragmatism, and thereby reshapes the dialectical options for pragmatism. I argue that the strategy presupposes that reasons for being in non-intentional states are not reducible (...)
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  28. The Reasons Aggregation Theorem.Ralph Wedgwood - 2022 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 12:127-148.
    Often, when one faces a choice between alternative actions, there are reasons both for and against each alternative. On one way of understanding these words, what one “ought to do all things considered (ATC)” is determined by the totality of these reasons. So, these reasons can somehow be “combined” or “aggregated” to yield an ATC verdict on these alternatives. First, various assumptions about this sort of aggregation of reasons are articulated. Then it is shown that these assumptions allow for the (...)
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  29. The matter of motivating reasons.J. J. Cunningham - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (5):1563-1589.
    It is now standard in the literature on reasons and rationality to distinguish normative reasons from motivating reasons. Two issues have dominated philosophical theorising concerning the latter: (i) whether we should think of them as certain (non-factive) psychological states of the agent – the dispute over Psychologism; and (ii) whether we should say that the agent can Φ for the reason that p only if p – the dispute over Factivism. This paper first introduces a puzzle: these disputes look very (...)
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  30. Ambidextrous Reasons (or Why Reasons First's Reasons Aren't Facts).Nathan Robert Howard - 2021 - Philosophers' Imprint 21 (30):1-16.
    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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  31. Rationality as the Rule of Reason.Antti Kauppinen - 2021 - Noûs 55 (3):538-559.
    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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  32. Are epistemic reasons normative?Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2021 - Noûs 56 (3):670-695.
    According to a widely held view, epistemic reasons are normative reasons for belief – much like prudential or moral reasons are normative reasons for action. In recent years, however, an increasing number of authors have questioned the assumption that epistemic reasons are normative. In this article, I discuss an important challenge for anti-normativism about epistemic reasons and present a number of arguments in support of normativism. The challenge for anti-normativism is to say what kind of reasons epistemic reasons are if (...)
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  33. How Do Reasons Transmit to Non-Necessary Means?Benjamin Kiesewetter & Jan Gertken - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):271-285.
    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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  34. Practical conflicts as a problem for epistemic reductionism about practical reasons.Benjamin Kiesewetter & Jan Gertken - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (3):677-686.
    According to epistemic reductionism about practical reasons, facts about practical reasons can be reduced to facts about evidence for ought-judgements. We argue that this view misconstrues practical conflicts. At least some conflicts between practical reasons put us in a position to know that an action ϕ is optional, i.e. that we neither ought to perform nor ought to refrain from performing the action. By understanding conflicts of practical reasons as conflicts of evidence about what one ought to do, epistemic reductionism (...)
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  35. 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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  36. “Adding Up” Reasons: Lessons for Reductive and Nonreductive Approaches.Shyam Nair - 2021 - Ethics 132 (1):38-88.
    How do multiple reasons combine to support a conclusion about what to do or believe? This question raises two challenges: How can we represent the strength of a reason? How do the strengths of multiple reasons combine? Analogous challenges about confirmation have been answered using probabilistic tools. Can reductive and nonreductive theories of reasons use these tools to answer their challenges? Yes, or more exactly: reductive theories can answer both challenges. Nonreductive theories, with the help of a result in confirmation (...)
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  37. How can there be reasoning to action?John Schwenkler - 2021 - Analytic Philosophy 62 (2):184-194.
    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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  38. Competing Reasons.Justin Snedegar - 2021 - In Jessica Brown & Mona Simion (eds.), Reasons, Justification, and Defeat. Oxford 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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  39. Reasons, Competition, and Latitude.Justin Snedegar - 2021 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics Volume 16. 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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  40. How Important Are Possessed Reasons?Jonathan Way - 2021 - Analysis 81 (1):156-167.
    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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  41. The Range of Reasons: In Ethics and Epistemology.Daniel Whiting - 2021 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    This book contributes to two debates and it does so by bringing them together. The first is a debate in metaethics concerning normative reasons, the considerations that serve to justify a person’s actions and attitudes. The second is a debate in epistemology concerning the norms for belief, the standards that govern a person’s beliefs and by reference to which they are assessed. The book starts by developing and defending a new theory of reasons for action, that is, of practical reasons. (...)
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  42. 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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  43. 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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  44. Varieties of Normativity: Reasons, Expectations, Wide-scope oughts, and Ought-to-be’s.Arto Laitinen - 2020 - In Rachael Mellin, Raimo Tuomela & Miguel Garcia-Godinez (eds.), Social Ontology, Normativity and Law. Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter. pp. 133-158.
    This chapter distinguishes between several senses of “normativity”. For example, that we ought to abstain from causing unnecessary suffering is a normative, not descriptive, claim. And so is the claim that we have good reason, and ought to drive on the right, or left, side of the road because the law requires us to do that. Reasons and oughts are normative, by definition. Indeed, it may be that “[t]he normativity of all that is normative consists in the way it is, (...)
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  45. How Many Normative Notions of Rationality? A Critical Study of Wedgwood’s The Value of Rationality.Giacomo Melis - 2020 - Analysis 80 (1):174-185.
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  46. Formalizing Reasons, Oughts, and Requirements.Robert Mullins - 2020 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7:568-599.
    Reasons-based accounts of our normative conclusions face difficulties in distinguishing between what ought to be done and what is required. This article addresses this problem from a formal perspective. I introduce a rudimentary formalization of a reasons-based account and demonstrate that that the model faces difficulties in accounting for the distinction between oughts and requirements. I briefly critique attempts to distinguish between oughts and requirements by appealing to a difference in strength or weight of reasons. I then present a formalized (...)
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  47. 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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  48. 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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  49. 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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  50. 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 (anything) else. This makes promotion easy and reasons cheap.
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