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  1. On Promoting the Dead Certain. A Reply to Behrends, DiPaolo, and Sharadin (Discussion Note).Stefan Fischer - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (3):1-13.
    According to Humean promotionalism about practical reasons, the fact that I have a reason to φ holds in virtue of the fact that φ-ing promotes one or more of my desires. The topic of this discussion note is the question of how best to understand the promotion relation. In particular, I defend a probabilistic understanding of promotion against a line of argument recently brought forth by Jeff Behrends, Joshua DiPaolo, and Nate Sharadin. Roughly, their argument is that probabilistic promotion leads (...)
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  • Checking the Neighborhood: A Reply to DiPaolo & Behrends on Promotion.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (1).
    In previous work I argued that purely probabilistic accounts of what it takes to promote a desire are mistaken. This is because, I argued, there are desires that it is possible to promote but impossible to probabilistically promote. In a recent article critical of my account, Joshua DiPaolo and Jeffrey Behrends articulate a methodological principle -- Check the Neighborhood -- and claim that respecting this principle rescues pure probabilism from my argument. In this reply, I accept the methodological principle and (...)
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  • Epistemic Instrumentalism and the Reason to Believe in Accord with the Evidence.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2018 - Synthese 195 (9):3791-3809.
    Epistemic instrumentalists face a puzzle. In brief, the puzzle is that if the reason there is to believe in accord with the evidence depends, as the instrumentalist says it does, on agents’ idiosyncratic interests, then there is no reason to expect that this reason is universal. Here, I identify and explain two strategies instrumentalists have used to try and solve this puzzle. I then argue that we should find these strategies wanting. Faced with the failure of these strategies, I articulate (...)
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  • Normative Source and Extensional Adequacy.Jeff Behrends - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 10 (3):1-26.
    Internalists about practical reasons maintain that all of an agent’s reasons for action derive their normative force via some relation in which they stand with that agent’s pro-attitudes, or the pro-attitudes that the agent would have in some idealized set of circumstances. One common complaint against internalism is that the view is extensionally inadequate – that it cannot render the correct verdicts about what reasons agents have in a range of important cases. In this paper, I examine that charge of (...)
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  • Promotion as Contrastive Increase in Expected Fit.Nathaniel Sharadin & Finnur Dellsén - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1263-1290.
    What is required for an action to promote the satisfaction of a desire? We reject extant answers and propose an alternative. Our account differs from competing answers in two ways: first, it is contrastive, in that actions promote the satisfaction of desires only as contrasted with other possible actions. Second, it employs a notion of expected fit between desire and world, defined as the weighted sum of the fit between the desire and the world in all possible outcomes, where each (...)
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  • Simple Probabilistic Promotion.Eden Lin - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (2):360-379.
    Many believe that normative reasons for action are necessarily connected with the promotion of certain states of affairs: on Humean views, for example, there is a reason for you to do something if and only if it would promote the object of one of your desires. But although promotion is widely invoked in discussions of reasons, its nature is a matter of controversy. I propose a simple account: to promote a state of affairs is to make it more likely to (...)
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  • Problems for Pure Probabilism About Promotion (and a Disjunctive Alternative).Nathaniel Sharadin - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1371-1386.
    Humean promotionalists about reasons think that whether there is a reason for an agent to ϕ depends on whether her ϕ-ing promotes the satisfaction of at least one of her desires. Several authors have recently defended probabilistic accounts of promotion, according to which an agent’s ϕ-ing promotes the satisfaction of one of her desires just in case her ϕ-ing makes the satisfaction of that desire more probable relative to some baseline. In this paper I do three things. First, I formalize (...)
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  • Reasons and Promotion.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2015 - Philosophical Issues 25 (1):98-122.
    A number of philosophers accept promotionalism, the view that whether there is a normative reason for an agent to perform an action or have an attitude depends on whether her doing so promotes a value, desire, interest, goal, or end. I show that promotionalism faces a prima facie problem when it comes to reasons for belief: it looks extensionally inadequate. I then articulate two general strategies promotionalists can used to solve this problem and argue that, even if one of these (...)
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  • Probabilistic Promotion Revisited.Jeff Behrends & Joshua DiPaolo - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1735-1754.
    Promotion is the relation between an act and a desire that obtains when the act advances or serves the desire. Under what conditions does an act promote a desire? Probabilistic accounts of promotion, the most prominent accounts, analyze promotion in terms of an increase in the probability of the desire’s satisfaction. In this paper, we clarify the promotion relation and explain why probabilistic accounts are attractive. Then we identify two questions probabilistic accounts must answer: the Baseline Question and the Interpretation (...)
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