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  1. Explaining Normative Reasons.Daniel Fogal & Olle Risberg - forthcoming - Noûs.
    In this paper, we present and defend a natural yet novel analysis of normative reasons. According to what we call support-explanationism, for a fact to be a normative reason to φ is for it to explain why there’s normative support for φ-ing. We critically consider the two main rival forms of explanationism—ought-explanationism, on which reasons explain facts about ought, and good-explanationism, on which reasons explain facts about goodness—as well as the popular Reasons-First view, which takes the notion of a normative (...)
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  • Reasons to act, reasons to require, and the two-level theory of moral explanation.Jörg Löschke - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):169-185.
    Deontic buck-passing aims to analyse deontic properties of acts in terms of reasons. Many authors accept deontic buck-passing, but only few have discussed how to understand the relation between reasons and deontic properties exactly. Justin Snedegar has suggested understanding deontic properties of acts in terms of both reasons and reasons to require: A is required to φ iff A has most reason to φ, and there is most reason to require A to φ. This promising proposal faces two open questions: (...)
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  • Desert, Control, and Moral Responsibility.Douglas W. Portmore - 2019 - Acta Analytica 34 (4):407-426.
    In this paper, I take it for granted both that there are two types of blameworthiness—accountability blameworthiness and attributability blameworthiness—and that avoidability is necessary only for the former. My task, then, is to explain why avoidability is necessary for accountability blameworthiness but not for attributability blameworthiness. I argue that what explains this is both the fact that these two types of blameworthiness make different sorts of reactive attitudes fitting and that only one of these two types of attitudes requires having (...)
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  • Sentimentalism About Moral Understanding.Nathan Robert Howard - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (5):1065-1078.
    Some have attempted to explain why it appears that action based on deferential moral belief lacks moral worth by appealing to claims about an attitude that is difficult to acquire through testimony, which theorists have called “moral understanding”. I argue that this state is at least partly non-cognitive. I begin by employing case-driven judgments to undermine the assumption that I argue is responsible for the strangeness of deferential moral belief: the assumption that if an agent knows that some fact gives (...)
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  • John Cook Wilson.Mathieu Marion - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    John Cook Wilson (1849–1915) was Wykeham Professor of Logic at New College, Oxford and the founder of ‘Oxford Realism’, a philosophical movement that flourished at Oxford during the first decades of the 20th century. Although trained as a classicist and a mathematician, his most important contribution was to the theory of knowledge, where he argued that knowledge is factive and not definable in terms of belief, and he criticized ‘hybrid’ and ‘externalist’ accounts. He also argued for direct realism in perception, (...)
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  • Norms for Emotions: Intrinsic or Extrinsic.Stéphane Lemaire - 2014 - Liber Amicorum Pascal Engel.
    It is often suggested that emotions are intrinsically normative or that they have conditions of correctness that are intrinsic. In order to assess this thesis, I consider whether the main argument in favor of the normativity of belief can be transposed to emotions. In the case of belief, the argument is that when we wonder whether to believe that p, we acknowledge that we must abide by some norms. This is understood as showing that these norms are intrinsic to the (...)
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  • The Right Wrong-Makers.Richard Yetter Chappell - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (2):426-440.
    Right- and wrong-making features ("moral grounds") are widely believed to play important normative roles, e.g. in morally apt or virtuous motivation. This paper argues that moral grounds have been systematically misidentified. Canonical statements of our moral theories tend to summarize, rather than directly state, the full range of moral grounds posited by the theory. Further work is required to "unpack" a theory's criterion of rightness and identify the features that are of ground-level moral significance. As a result, it is not (...)
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  • Is Global Consequentialism More Expressive Than Act Consequentialism?Elliott Thornley - forthcoming - Analysis.
    Act consequentialism states that an act is right iff the expected value of its outcome is at least as great as the expected value of any other act’s outcome. Two objections to this view are as follows. The first is that act consequentialism cannot account for our normative ambivalence in cases where agents perform the right act out of bad motives. The second is that act consequentialism is silent on questions of character: questions like ‘What are the right motives to (...)
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  • Opting for the Best: Oughts and Options.Douglas W. Portmore - 2019 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    The book concerns what I take to be the least controversial normative principle concerning action: you ought to perform your best option—best, that is, in terms of whatever ultimately matters. The book sets aside the question of what ultimately matters so as to focus on more basic issues, such as: What are our options? Do I have the option of typing out the cure for cancer if that’s what I would in fact do if I had the right intentions at (...)
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  • Are Epistemic Reasons Normative?Benjamin Kiesewetter - forthcoming - Noûs.
    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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  • Emotions and Process Rationality.Oded Na’Aman - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (3):531-546.
    ABSTRACT Some epistemologists hold that all rational norms are fundamentally concerned with the agent’s states or attitudes at an individual time [Hedden 2015, 2016; Moss 2015]; others argue that all rational norms are fundamentally concerned with processes [Podgorski 2017]. This distinction is not drawn in discussions of emotional rationality. As a result, a widely held assumption in the literature on emotional rationality has gone unexamined. I employ Abelard Podgorski’s argument from rational delay to argue that many emotional norms are fundamentally (...)
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  • Perceiving Deviance.Eli Shupe - forthcoming - Synthese (8):6955-6967.
    I defend the claim that we have the capacity to perceptually represent objects and events in experience as deviating from an expectation, or, for short, as deviant. The rival hypothesis is that we may ascribe the property of deviance to a stimulus at a cognitive level, but that property is not a representational content of perceptual experience. I provide empirical reasons to think that, contrary to the rival hypothesis, we do perceptually represent deviance.
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  • Naturalizing the contributory.Philip Fox - forthcoming - Synthese:1-24.
    This paper has two aims. First, I critically discuss Daniel Whiting’s :2191–2208, 2018) recent proposal that a reason to ϕ is evidence of a respect in which it is right to ϕ. I raise two objections against this view: it is subject to a modified version of Eva Schmidt’s :708–718, 2018) counterexample against the influential account of reasons in terms of evidence and ‘ought’, and—setting aside judgments about specific cases—, it is also in an important sense uninformative. Interestingly, it turns (...)
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  • Fitting Anxiety and Prudent Anxiety.James Fritz - forthcoming - Synthese:1-24.
    Most agree that, in some special scenarios, prudence can speak against feeling a fitting emotion. Some go further, arguing that the tension between fittingness and prudence afflicts some emotions in a fairly general way. This paper goes even further: it argues that, when it comes to anxiety, the tension between fittingness and prudence is nearly inescapable. On any plausible theory, an enormous array of possible outcomes are both bad and epistemically uncertain in the right way to ground fitting anxiety. What’s (...)
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  • Willpower Satisficing.Richard Yetter Chappell - 2019 - Noûs 53 (2):251-265.
    Satisficing Consequentialism is often rejected as hopeless. Perhaps its greatest problem is that it risks condoning the gratuitous prevention of goodness above the baseline of what qualifies as "good enough". I propose a radical new willpower-based version of the view that avoids this problem, and that better fits with the motivation of avoiding an excessively demanding conception of morality. I further demonstrate how, by drawing on the resources of an independent theory of blameworthiness, we may obtain a principled specification of (...)
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  • A “Good” Explanation of Five Puzzles About Reasons.Stephen Finlay - 2019 - Philosophical Perspectives 33 (1):62-104.
    This paper champions the view (REG) that the concept of a normative reason for an agent S to perform an action A is that of an explanation why it would be good (in some way, to some degree) for S to do A. REG has numerous virtues, but faces some significant challenges which prompt many philosophers to be skeptical that it can correctly account for all our reasons. I demonstrate how five different puzzles about normative reasons can be solved by (...)
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  • A Fault Line in Ethical Theory.Shyam Nair - 2014 - Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):173-200.
    A traditional picture is that cases of deontic constraints--- cases where an act is wrong (or one that there is most reason to not do) even though performing that act will prevent more acts of the same morally (or practically) relevant type from being performed---form a kind of fault line in ethical theory separating (agent-neutral) consequentialist theories from other ethical theories. But certain results in the recent literature, such as those due to Graham Oddie and Peter Milne in "Act and (...)
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  • No Reasons to Believe the False.Javier González Prado - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):703-722.
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  • Reasons as Premises of Good Reasoning.Jonathan Way - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (2).
    Many philosophers have been attracted to the view that reasons are premises of good reasoning – that reasons to φ are premises of good reasoning towards φ-ing. However, while this reasoning view is indeed attractive, it faces a problem accommodating outweighed reasons. In this article, I argue that the standard solution to this problem is unsuccessful and propose an alternative, which draws on the idea that good patterns of reasoning can be defeasible. I conclude by drawing out implications for the (...)
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  • The Composite Nature of Epistemic Justification.Paul Silva - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (1).
    According to many, to have epistemic justification to believe P is just for it to be epistemically permissible to believe P. Others think it is for believing P to be epistemically good. Yet others think it has to do with being epistemically blameless in believing P. All such views of justification encounter problems. Here, a new view of justification is proposed according to which justification is a kind of composite normative status. The result is a view of justification that offers (...)
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  • 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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  • In Defense of the Wrong Kind of Reason.Christopher Howard - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (1):53-62.
    Skepticism about the ‘wrong kind’ of reasons—the view that wrong-kind reasons are reasons to want and bring about certain attitudes, but not reasons for those attitudes—is more often assumed than argued for. Jonathan Way sets out to remedy this: he argues that skeptics about, but not defenders of, wrong-kind reasons can explain a distinctive pattern of transmission among such reasons and claims that this fact lends significant support to the skeptical view. I argue that Way's positive case for wrong-kind reason (...)
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  • What is Reasoning?Conor McHugh & Jonathan Way - 2018 - Mind 127 (505):167-196.
    Reasoning is a certain kind of attitude-revision. What kind? The aim of this paper is to introduce and defend a new answer to this question, based on the idea that reasoning is a goodness-fixing kind. Our central claim is that reasoning is a functional kind: it has a constitutive point or aim that fixes the standards for good reasoning. We claim, further, that this aim is to get fitting attitudes. We start by considering recent accounts of reasoning due to Ralph (...)
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  • The Game of Belief.Barry Maguire & Jack Woods - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (2):211-249.
    It is plausible that there are epistemic reasons bearing on a distinctively epistemic standard of correctness for belief. It is also plausible that there are a range of practical reasons bearing on what to believe. These theses are often thought to be in tension with each other. Most significantly for our purposes, it is obscure how epistemic reasons and practical reasons might interact in the explanation of what one ought to believe. We draw an analogy with a similar distinction between (...)
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  • Navigating Recalcitrant Emotions.Alex Grzankowski - 2020 - Journal of Philosophy 117 (9):501-519.
    In discussions of the emotions, it is commonplace to wheel out examples of people who know that rollercoasters aren’t dangerous but who fear them anyway. Such cases are well known to have been troubling for cognitivists who hold the emotions are judgments or beliefs. But more recently, it has been argued that the very theories that emerged from the failure of cognitivism face trouble as well. One gets the sense that the theory that can accomplish this will win a crucial (...)
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  • A Puzzle for Evaluation Theories of Desire.Alex Grzankowski - 2021 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 10 (2):90-98.
    How we evaluate things and what we desire are closely connected. In typical cases, the things we desire are things that we evaluate as good or desirable. According to evaluation theories of desire, this connection is a very tight one: desires are evaluations of their objects as good or as desirable. There are two main varieties of this view. According to Doxastic Evaluativism, to desire that p is to believe or judge that p is good. According to Perceptual Evaluativism, to (...)
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  • Deontic Pluralism and the Right Amount of Good.Richard Y. Chappell - 2020 - In Douglas W. Portmore (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Consequentialism. Oxford University Press. pp. 498-512.
    Consequentialist views have traditionally taken a maximizing form, requiring agents to bring about the very best outcome that they can. But this maximizing function may be questioned. Satisficing views instead allow agents to bring about any outcome that exceeds a satisfactory threshold or qualifies as “good enough.” Scalar consequentialism, by contrast, eschews moral requirements altogether, instead evaluating acts in purely comparative terms, i.e., as better or worse than their alternatives. After surveying the main considerations for and against each of these (...)
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  • The Ambitions of Consequentialism.Brian McElwee - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 17 (2):198--218.
    Consequentialism is most famously a theory of right action. But many consequentialists assume, and some have explicitly argued, that consequentialism is equally plausible as a direct theory of the right rules, motives, character traits, institutions, and even such things as climates and eye colours. In this paper, I call into question this ‘Global Consequentialist’ extension of consequentialist evaluation beyond the domain of action. Consequentialist treatments of evaluands other than action are most plausible when they are interpreted as claims about reasons (...)
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  • Evaluative Beliefs First.Ben Bramble - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 8.
    Many philosophers think that it is only because we happen to want or care about things that we think some things of value. We start off caring about things, and then project these desires onto the external world. In this chapter, I make a preliminary case for the opposite view, that it is our evaluative thinking that is prior or comes first. On this view, it is only because we think some things of value that we care about or want (...)
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  • Control, Attitudes, and Accountability.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    It seems that we can be directly accountable for our reasons-responsive attitudes—e.g., our beliefs, desires, and intentions. Yet, we rarely, if ever, have volitional control over such attitudes, volitional control being the sort of control that we exert over our intentional actions. This presents a trilemma: (Horn 1) deny that we can be directly accountable for our reasons-responsive attitudes, (Horn 2) deny that φ’s being under our control is necessary for our being directly accountable for φ-ing, or (Horn 3) deny (...)
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  • Rationality, Appearances, and Apparent Facts.Javier González de Prado Salas - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 14 (2).
    Ascriptions of rationality are related to our practices of praising and criticizing. This seems to provide motivation for normative accounts of rationality, more specifically for the view that rationality is a matter of responding to normative reasons. However, rational agents are sometimes guided by false beliefs. This is problematic for those reasons-based accounts of rationality that are also committed to the widespread thesis that normative reasons are facts. The critical aim of the paper is to present objections to recent proposed (...)
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  • A Fault Line in Ethical Theory.Gopal Shyam Nair - unknown
    A venerable idea in the history of moral philosophy is that central among the normative notions is the notion of goodness or value. This idea, which can be found at least as early as 1903 in G.E. Moore’s Principia Ethica, claims that goodness is central in that all other normative notions can be explained in terms of it. Moore’s approach and the dominant approach to the project of explaining the normative notions of rightness and what we have reason to do (...)
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  • Weighing Epistemic and Practical Reasons for Belief.Christopher Howard - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2227-2243.
    This paper is about how epistemic and practical reasons for belief can be compared against one another when they conflict. It provides a model for determining what one ought to believe, all-things-considered, when there are conflicting epistemic and practical reasons. The model is meant to supplement a form of pluralism about doxastic normativity that I call ‘Inclusivism’. According to Inclusivism, both epistemic and practical considerations can provide genuine normative reasons for belief, and both types of consideration can contribute to metaphysically (...)
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  • No Reasons to Believe the False.Javier González De Prado Salas - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):703-722.
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  • Demandingness Objections in Ethics.Brian McElwee - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (266):84-105.
    It is common for moral philosophers to reject a moral theory on the basis that its verdicts are unreasonably demanding—it requires too much of us to be a correct account of our moral obligations. Even though such objections frequently strike us as convincing, they give rise to two challenges: Are demandingness objections really independent of other objections to moral theories? Do standard demandingness objections not presuppose that costs borne by the comfortably off are more important than costs borne by the (...)
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  • Reference, Truth, and Biological Kinds.Marcel Weber - 2014 - In: J. Dutant, D. Fassio and A. Meylan (Eds.) Liber Amicorum Pascal Engel.
    This paper examines causal theories of reference with respect to how plausible an account they give of non-physical natural kind terms such as ‘gene’ as well as of the truth of the associated theoretical claims. I first show that reference fixism for ‘gene’ fails. By this, I mean the claim that the reference of ‘gene’ was stable over longer historical periods, for example, since the classical period of transmission genetics. Second, I show that the theory of partial reference does not (...)
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  • Fittingness, Value and Trans-World Attitudes.Andrew E. Reisner - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly (260):1-22.
    Philosophers interested in the fitting attitude analysis of final value have devoted a great deal of attention to the wrong kind of reasons problem. This paper offers an example of the reverse difficulty, the wrong kind of value problem. This problem creates deeper challenges for the fitting attitude analysis and provides independent grounds for rejecting it, or at least for doubting seriously its correctness.
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  • What Are Our Options?Douglas W. Portmore - manuscript
    We ought to perform our best option—that is, the option that we have most reason, all things considered, to perform. This is perhaps the most fundamental and least controversial of all normative principles concerning action. Yet, it is not, I believe, well understood. For even setting aside questions about what our reasons are and about how best to formulate the principle, there is a question about how we should construe our options. This question is of the upmost importance, for which (...)
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  • Objectivism and Perspectivism About the Epistemic Ought.McHugh Conor - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4.
    What ought you believe? According to a traditional view, it depends on your evidence: you ought to believe (only) what your evidence supports. Recently, however, some have claimed that what you ought to believe depends not on your evidence but simply on what is true: you ought to believe (only) the truth. In this paper, we present and defend two arguments against this latter view. We also explore some of the parallels between this debate in epistemology, and the debate in (...)
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  • Fitting Belief.Conor McHugh - 2014 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 114 (2pt2):167-187.
    Beliefs can be correct or incorrect, and this standard of correctness is widely thought to be fundamental to epistemic normativity. But how should this standard be understood, and in what way is it so fundamental? I argue that we should resist understanding correctness for belief as either a prescriptive or an evaluative norm. Rather, we should understand it as an instance of the distinct normative category of fittingness for attitudes. This yields an attractive account of epistemic reasons.
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  • Holy, Holy, Holy: Divine Holiness and Divine Perfection.Mark C. Murphy - forthcoming - Religious Studies:1-25.
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  • Fittingness.Christopher Howard - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (11):e12542.
    The normative notion of fittingness figures saliently in the work of a number of ethical theorists writing in the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries and has in recent years regained prominence, occupying an important place in the theoretical tool kits of a range of contemporary writers. Yet the notion remains strikingly undertheorized. This article offers a (partial) remedy. I proceed by canvassing a number of attempts to analyze the fittingness relation in other terms, arguing that none is fully adequate. In (...)
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