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  1. Reducing Reasons.Matthew Silverstein - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 10 (1):1-22.
    Reasons are considerations that figure in sound reasoning. This is considered by many philosophers to be little more than a platitude. I argue that it actually has surprising and far-reaching metanormative implications. The view that reasons are linked to sound reasoning seems platitudinous only because we tend to assume that soundness is a normative property, in which case the view merely relates one normative phenomenon (reasons) to another (soundness). I argue that soundness is also a descriptive phenomenon, one we can (...)
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  • Epistemic Instrumentalism and the Too Few Reasons Objection.Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):337-355.
    According to epistemic instrumentalism, epistemic normativity arises from and depends on facts about our ends. On that view, a consideration C is an epistemic reason for a subject S to Φ only if Φ-ing would promote an end that S has. However, according to the Too Few Epistemic Reasons objection, this cannot be correct since there are cases in which, intuitively, C is an epistemic reason for S to Φ even though Φ-ing would not promote any of S’s ends. After (...)
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  • The Normativity of Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Kiesewetter defends the normativity of rationality by presenting a new solution to the problems that arise from the common assumption that we ought to be rational. He provides a defence of a reason-response conception of rationality, an evidence-relative account of reason, and an explanation of structural irrationality in relation to these accounts.
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  • Are Epistemic Reasons Normative?Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2022 - 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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  • Moral Worth and Moral Knowledge.Paulina Sliwa - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):393-418.
    To have moral worth an action not only needs to conform to the correct normative theory ; it also needs to be motivated in the right way. I argue that morally worthy actions are motivated by the rightness of the action; they are motivated by an agent's concern for doing what's right and her knowledge that her action is morally right. Call this the Rightness Condition. On the Rightness Condition moral motivation involves both a conative and a cognitive element—in particular, (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Is Classical Mathematics Appropriate for Theory of Computation?Farzad Didehvar - manuscript
    Throughout this paper, we are trying to show how and why our Mathematical frame-work seems inappropriate to solve problems in Theory of Computation. More exactly, the concept of turning back in time in paradoxes causes inconsistency in modeling of the concept of Time in some semantic situations. As we see in the first chapter, by introducing a version of “Unexpected Hanging Paradox”,first we attempt to open a new explanation for some paradoxes. In the second step, by applying this paradox, it (...)
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  • Pursuit and Inquisitive Reasons.Will Fleisher - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 94:17-30.
    Sometimes inquirers may rationally pursue a theory even when the available evidence does not favor that theory over others. Features of a theory that favor pursuing it are known as considerations of promise or pursuitworthiness. Examples of such reasons include that a theory is testable, that it has a useful associated analogy, and that it suggests new research and experiments. These reasons need not be evidence in favor of the theory. This raises the question: what kinds of reasons are provided (...)
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  • Naturalizing the Contributory.Philip Fox - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6275-6298.
    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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  • Reasons and Oughts: An Explanation and Defence of Deontic Buck-Passing.Euan Hans Metz - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Reading
    This thesis is about what a normative reason is and how reasons relate to oughts. I argue that normative reasons are to be understood as relational properties of favouring or disfavouring. I then examine the question: What is the relation between reasons, so understood, and what we ought to do, believe, or feel? I argue that the relation is an explanatory one. We should explain what we ought to do in terms of reasons, and not the other way around. This (...)
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  • Reasons as Reasons for Preferences.R. A. Rowland - 2022 - American Philosophical Quarterly 59 (3):297-311.
    I argue that all reasons for actions and attitudes consist in reasons for preferences; call this view RP. According to RP, reasons for A to believe that p just consist in reasons for A to prefer their believing that p to their not believing that p, and reasons for A to have a pro-attitude or perform an action just consist in reasons for A to prefer that she has that attitude/performs that action. I argue that we have strong reason to (...)
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  • Rescuing Companions in Guilt Arguments.Richard Rowland - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (262):161–171.
    Christopher Cowie has recently argued that companions in guilt arguments against the moral error theory that appeal to epistemic reasons cannot work. I show that such companions in guilt arguments can work if, as we have good reason to believe, moral reasons and epistemic reasons are instances of fundamentally the same relation.
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  • Practical Structure and Moral Skill.Joshua Shepherd - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (3):713-732.
    I argue that moral skill is limited and precarious. It is limited because global moral skill—the capacity for morally excellent behaviour within an über action domain, such as the domain of living, or of all-things-considered decisions, or the same kind of capacity applied across a superset of more specific action domains—is not to be found in humans. It is precarious because relatively local moral skill, while possible, is prone to misfire. My arguments depend upon the diversity of practical structures confronting (...)
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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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  • How to modify the strength of a reason.Andrew Kernohan - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (4):1205-1220.
    Kearns and Star have previously recommended that we measure the degree to which a reason supports a conclusion, either about how to act or what to believe, as the conditional probability of the conclusion given the reason. I show how to properly formulate this recommendation to allow for dependencies and conditional dependencies among the considerations being aggregated. This formulation allows us to account for how considerations, which do not themselves favour a specific conclusion, can modify the strength of a reason (...)
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  • Practical Conflicts as a Problem for Epistemic Reductionism About Practical Reasons.Benjamin Kiesewetter & Jan Gertken - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    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 F 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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  • Reasons Wrong and Right.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (3):371-399.
    The fact that someone is generous is a reason to admire them. The fact that someone will pay you to admire them is also a reason to admire them. But there is a difference in kind between these two reasons: the former seems to be the ‘right’ kind of reason to admire, whereas the latter seems to be the ‘wrong’ kind of reason to admire. The Wrong Kind of Reasons Problem is the problem of explaining the difference between the ‘right’ (...)
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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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  • Skill and Sensitivity to Reasons.Joshua Shepherd - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):669-681.
    In this paper I explore the relationship between skill and sensitivity to reasons for action. I want to know to what degree we can explain the fact that the skilled agent is very good at performing a cluster of actions within some domain in terms of the fact that the skilled agent has a refined sensitivity to the reasons for action common to the cluster. The picture is a little bit complex. While skill can be partially explained by sensitivity to (...)
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  • Creditworthiness and Matching Principles.Jonathan Way - forthcoming - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Vol 7. Oxford University Press.
    You are creditworthy for φ-ing only if φ-ing is the right thing to do. Famously though, further conditions are needed too – Kant’s shopkeeper did the right thing, but is not creditworthy for doing so. This case shows that creditworthiness requires that there be a certain kind of explanation of why you did the right thing. The reasons for which you act – your motivating reasons – must meet some further conditions. In this paper, I defend a new account of (...)
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  • Agency and Reasons in Epistemology.Luis R. G. Oliveira - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Ever since John Locke, philosophers have discussed the possibility of a normative epistemology: are there epistemic obligations binding the cognitive economy of belief and disbelief? Locke's influential answer was evidentialist: we have an epistemic obligation to believe in accordance with our evidence. In this dissertation, I place the contemporary literature on agency and reasons at the service of some such normative epistemology. I discuss the semantics of obligations, the connection between obligations and reasons to believe, the implausibility of Lockean evidentialism, (...)
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  • The End‐Relational Theory of ‘Ought’ and the Weight of Reasons.Daan Evers - 2010 - Dialectica 64 (3):405-417.
    Stephen Finlay analyses ‘ought’ in terms of probability. According to him, normative ‘ought's are statements about the likelihood that an act will realize some (contextually supplied) end. I raise a problem for this theory. It concerns the relation between ‘ought’ and the balance of reasons. ‘A ought to Φ’ seems to entail that the balance of reasons favours that A Φ-es, and vice versa. Given Finlay's semantics for ‘ought’, it also makes sense to think of reasons and their weight in (...)
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  • Normative Explanation and Justification.Pekka Väyrynen - 2021 - Noûs 55 (1):3-22.
    Normative explanations of why things are wrong, good, or unfair are ubiquitous in ordinary practice and normative theory. This paper argues that normative explanation is subject to a justification condition: a correct complete explanation of why a normative fact holds must identify features that would go at least some way towards justifying certain actions or attitudes. I first explain and motivate the condition I propose. I then support it by arguing that it fits well with various theories of normative reasons, (...)
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  • Reasons, Facts‐About‐Evidence, and Indirect Evidence.Stephen Kearns & Daniel Star - 2013 - Analytic Philosophy 54 (2):237-243.
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  • The Enkratic Requirement.Allen Coates - 2013 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (2):320-333.
    : Agents are enkratic when they intend to do what they believe they should. That rationality requires you to be enkratic is uncontroversial, yet you may be enkratic in a way that does not exhibit any rationality on your part. Thus, what I call the enkratic requirement demands that you be enkratic in the right way. In particular, I will argue that it demands that you base your belief about what you should do and your intention to do it on (...)
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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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  • One Desire Too Many.Nathan Robert Howard - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):302-317.
    I defend the widely-held view that morally worthy action need not be motivated by a desire to promote rightness as such. Some have recently come to reject this view, arguing that desires for rightness as such are necessary for avoiding a certain kind of luck thought incompatible with morally worthy action. I show that those who defend desires for rightness as such on the basis of this argument misunderstand the relationship between moral worth and the kind of luck that their (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Worldly Reasons: An Ontological Inquiry Into Motivating Considerations and Normative Reasons.Susanne Mantel - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    In this article I advocate a worldly account of normative reasons according to which there is an ontological gap between these and the premises of practical thought, i.e. motivating considerations. While motivating considerations are individuated fine-grainedly, normative reasons should be classified as coarse-grained entities, e.g. as states of affairs, in order to explain certain necessary truths about them and to make sense of how we count and weigh them. As I briefly sketch, acting for normative reasons is nonetheless possible if (...)
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  • Holism, Weight, and Undercutting.Mark Schroeder - 2011 - Noûs 45 (2):328 - 344.
    Particularists in ethics emphasize that the normative is holistic, and invite us to infer with them that it therefore defies generalization. This has been supposed to present an obstacle to traditional moral theorizing, to have striking implications for moral epistemology and moral deliberation, and to rule out reductive theories of the normative, making it a bold and important thesis across the areas of normative theory, moral epistemology, moral psychology, and normative metaphysics. Though particularists emphasize the importance of the holism of (...)
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  • N-1 Guilty Men.Clayton Littlejohn & Julien Dutant - forthcoming - In The Future of Normativity. Oxford University Press.
    We discuss the difficulties that arise for standard reasons-first theories by looking at a case in which an agent who seems initially to know that n individuals are responsible for wrongdoing learns that n-1 are guilty. On the one hand, if this agent can retain their initial knowledge, it seems the agent should be able to believe in at least n-1 cases that the relevant subject is culpable, blame this agent for wrongdoing, and punish accordingly. Since we're not primarily interested (...)
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  • Where Reasons and Reasoning Come Apart.Eva Schmidt - 2021 - Noûs 55:762-781.
    Proponents of the reasoning view analyze normative reasons as premises of good reasoning and explain the normativity of reasons by appeal to their role as premises of good reasoning. The aim of this paper is to cast doubt on the reasoning view by providing counterexamples to the proposed analysis of reasons, counterexamples in which premises of good reasoning towards φ‐ing are not reasons to φ.
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  • Epistemic Democracy and the Truth Connection.Wes Siscoe - forthcoming - Public Reason.
    If political decision-making aims at getting a particular result, like identifying just laws or policies that truly promote the common good, then political institutions can also be evaluated in terms of how often they achieve these results. Epistemic defenses of democracy argue that democracies have the upper hand when it comes to truth, identifying the laws and policies that are truly just or conducive to the common good. A number of epistemic democrats claim that democracies have this beneficial connection to (...)
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  • The Pitfalls of ‘Reasons’.Ralph Wedgwood - 2015 - Philosophical Issues 25 (1):123-143.
    Many philosophers working on the branches of philosophy that deal with the normative questions have adopted a " Reasons First" program. This paper criticizes the foundational assumptions of this program. In fact, there are many different concepts that can be expressed by the term 'reason' in English, none of which are any more fundamental than any others. Indeed, most of these concepts are not particularly fundamental in any interesting sense.
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  • Précis of Knowing Better: Virtue, Deliberation, and Normative Ethics.Daniel Star - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):706-708.
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  • 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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  • Replies to Cuneo, Driver, and Littlejohn.Daniel Star - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):728-744.
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  • Introducing a New Elusive Reason.Benjamin Cohen Rossi - 2021 - Ratio 34 (3):227-235.
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  • Do Reasons Drain Away?Aaron Wolf - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6785-6802.
    This paper offers a defense against the primary objection to the view that goodness and other value properties give normative reasons, which is T. M. Scanlon’s influential redundancy argument. Scanlon reasons that value properties cannot add anything over and above what non-evaluative properties contribute. I suggest this line of reasoning is analogous to Jaegwon Kim’s causal exclusion argument against non-reductive physicalism, and adapt Ned Block’s objection to exclusion—a generalization and regress argument—into a reason for rejecting Scanlon’s argument. Differences between reasons (...)
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  • Are Epistemic Reasons Perspective-Dependent?Davide Fassio - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (12):3253-3283.
    This paper focuses on the relation between epistemic reasons and the subject’s epistemic perspective. It tackles the questions of whether epistemic reasons are dependent on the perspective of the subject they are reasons for, and if so, whether they are dependent on the actual or the potential perspective. It is argued that epistemic reasons are either independent or minimally dependent on the subject’s epistemic perspective. In particular, I provide three arguments supporting the conclusion that epistemic reasons are not dependent on (...)
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  • Free Choice Reasons.Daniel Bonevac - 2019 - Synthese 196 (2):735-760.
    I extend theories of nonmonotonic reasoning to account for reasons allowing free choice. My approach works with a wide variety of approaches to nonmonotonic reasoning and explains the connection between reasons for kinds of action and reasons for actions or subkinds falling under them. I use an Anderson–Kanger reduction of reason statements, identifying key principles in the logic of reasons.
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  • Reasons as Explanations.John Brunero - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):805-824.
    Can a normative reason be understood as a kind of explanation? I here consider and argue against two important analyses of reasons as explanations. John Broome argues that we can analyze reasons in terms of the concepts of explanation and ought. On his view, reasons to ϕ are either facts that explain why one ought to ϕ (what he calls “perfect reasons”) or facts that play a for-ϕ role in weighing explanations (what he calls “pro tanto reasons”). I argue against (...)
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  • What is a Reason to Act?Kieran Setiya - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (2):221-235.
    Argues for a conception of reasons as premises of practical reasoning. This conception is applied to questions about ignorance, advice, enabling conditions, "ought," and evidence.
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  • Epistemic Disagreement and Practical Disagreement.Christopher Cowie - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (1):191-209.
    It is often thought that the correct metaphysics and epistemology of reasons will be broadly unified across different kinds of reason: reasons for belief, and reasons for action. This approach is sometimes thought to be undermined by the contrasting natures of belief and of action: whereas belief appears to have the ‘constitutive aim’ of truth (or knowledge), action does not appear to have any such constitutive aim. I develop this disanalogy into a novel challenge to metanormative approaches by thinking about (...)
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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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  • Reasons: Explanations or Evidence.Stephen Kearns & Daniel Star - 2008 - Ethics 119 (1):31-56.
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  • 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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  • Ecumenical Epistemic Instrumentalism.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2021 - Synthese 198 (3):2613-2639.
    According to extant versions of epistemic instrumentalism, epistemic reasons are instrumental reasons. Epistemic instrumentalism is unpopular. I think it’s just misunderstood. Rather than saying epistemic reasons are instrumental reasons, epistemic instrumentalists should only say that if there is an epistemic reason, there is also an instrumental reason. This is the view I call ecumenical epistemic instrumentalism. In this paper, I first motivate, next sketch, and finally highlight the advantages of this version of epistemic instrumentalism.
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