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  1. The balance and weight of reasons.Nicholas Makins - 2023 - Theoria 89 (5):592-606.
    The aim of this paper is to provide a detailed characterisation of some ways in which our preferences reflect our reasons. I will argue that practical reasons can be characterised along two dimensions that influence our preferences: their balance and their weight. This is analogous to a similar characterisation of the way in which probabilities reflect the balance and weight of evidence in epistemology. In this paper, I will illustrate the distinction between the balance and weight of reasons, and show (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Keep Things in Perspective: Reasons, Rationality, and the A Priori.Daniel Whiting - 2014 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 8 (1):1-22.
    Objective reasons are given by the facts. Subjective reasons are given by one’s perspective on the facts. Subjective reasons, not objective reasons, determine what it is rational to do. In this paper, I argue against a prominent account of subjective reasons. The problem with that account, I suggest, is that it makes what one has subjective reason to do, and hence what it is rational to do, turn on matters outside or independent of one’s perspective. After explaining and establishing this (...)
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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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  • 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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  • If you justifiably believe that you ought to Φ, you ought to Φ.Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1873-1895.
    In this paper, we claim that, if you justifiably believe that you ought to perform some act, it follows that you ought to perform that act. In the first half, we argue for this claim by reflection on what makes for correct reasoning from beliefs about what you ought to do. In the second half, we consider a number of objections to this argument and its conclusion. In doing so, we arrive at another argument for the view that justified beliefs (...)
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  • Normative Explanation and Justification.Pekka Väyrynen - 2019 - 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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  • Skorupski on spontaneity, apriority and normative truth.Kurt Sylvan - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (264):617-628.
    This paper raises a dilemma for Skorupski’s meta-normative outlook in The Domain of Reasons and explores some escape routes, recommending a more thoroughgoing Kantianism as the best option. §1 argues that we cannot plausibly combine Skorupski’s spontaneity-based epistemology of normativity with his cognition-independent view of normative truth. §§2–4 consider whether we should keep the epistemology and revise the metaphysics, opting for constructivism. While Skorupski’s negative case for his spontaneity-based epistemology is found wanting, it is suggested that a better argument for (...)
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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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  • Précis of Knowing Better: Virtue, Deliberation, and Normative Ethics.Daniel Star - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):706-708.
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  • A range of reasons.Daniel Star & Stephen Kearns - 2024 - Asian Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):1-16.
    Daniel Whiting’s excellent new book, The Range of Reasons (2022), makes a number of noteworthy contributions to the philosophical literature on reasons and normativity. A good deal has been written on normative reasons, and it is no easy thing to make novel and promising arguments. Yet, this is what Whiting manages to do. We are sympathetic to some of his ideas and critical of others. It makes sense for us to focus on the first half of his book, where Whiting (...)
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  • Moral Worth and Moral Knowledge.Paulina Sliwa - 2015 - 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Comparative value and the weight of reasons.Itai Sher - 2019 - Economics and Philosophy 35 (1):103-158.
    :One view of practical reasoning is that it involves the weighing of reasons. It is not clear, however, how the weights of reasons combine, especially given the logical and substantive relations among different reasons. Nor is it clear how the weighing of reasons relates to decision theoretic maximization of expected value. This paper constructs a formal model of reasons and their weight in order to shed light on these issues. The model informs philosophical debates about reasons, such as the question (...)
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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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Where Reasons and Reasoning Come Apart.Eva Schmidt - 2021 - Noûs 55 (4):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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  • Reasons as right-makers.Laura Schroeter & François Schroeter - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (3):279-296.
    This paper sketches a right-maker account of normative practical reasons along functionalist lines. The approach is contrasted with other similar accounts, in particular John Broome's analysis of reasons as explanations of oughts.
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  • New Trouble for “Reasons as Evidence”: Means That Don’t Justify the Ends.Eva Schmidt - 2017 - Ethics 127 (3):708-718.
    In this article, I argue against Kearns and Star’s reasons-as-evidence view, which identifies normative reasons to ɸ with evidence that one ought to ɸ. I provide a new counterexample to their view, the student case, which involves an inference to the best explanation from means to end or, more generally, from a derivative to a more foundational “ought” proposition. It shows that evidence that one ought to act a certain way is not in all cases a reason so to act. (...)
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  • Holism, Weight, and Undercutting.Mark Schroeder - 2010 - 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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  • Direct Moral Grounding and the Legal Model of Moral Normativity.Benjamin Sachs - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (4):703-716.
    Whereas most moral philosophers believe that the facts as to what we’re morally required to do are grounded by the facts about our moral reasons, which in turn are grounded by non-normative facts, I propose that moral requirements are directly grounded by non-normative facts. This isn’t, however, to say that there is no place in the picture for moral reasons. Moral reasons exist, and they’re grounded by moral requirements. Arguing for this picture of the moral sphere requires playing both offense (...)
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  • Direct Moral Grounding and the Legal Model of Moral Normativity.Benjamin Sachs - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (4):703-716.
    Whereas most moral philosophers believe that the facts as to what we’re morally required to do are grounded by the facts about our moral reasons, which in turn are grounded by non-normative facts, I propose that moral requirements are directly grounded by non-normative facts. This isn’t, however, to say that there is no place in the picture for moral reasons. Moral reasons exist, and they’re grounded by moral requirements. Arguing for this picture of the moral sphere requires playing both offense (...)
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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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  • Peer Disagreement, Rational Requirements, and Evidence of Evidence as Evidence Against.Andrew Reisner - 2016 - In Pedro Schmechtig & Martin Grajner (eds.), Epistemic Reasons, Norms and Goals. De Gruyter. pp. 95-114.
    This chapter addresses an ambiguity in some of the literature on rational peer disagreement about the use of the term 'rational'. In the literature 'rational' is used to describe a variety of normative statuses related to reasons, justification, and reasoning. This chapter focuses most closely on the upshot of peer disagreement for what is rationally required of parties to a peer disagreement. This follows recent work in theoretical reason which treats rationality as a system of requirements among an agent's mental (...)
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  • Deontological evidentialism and ought implies can.Luis R. G. Oliveira - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2567-2582.
    Deontological evidentialism is the claim that S ought to form or maintain S’s beliefs in accordance with S’s evidence. A promising argument for this view turns on the premise that consideration c is a normative reason for S to form or maintain a belief that p only if c is evidence that p is true. In this paper, I discuss the surprising relation between a recently influential argument for this key premise and the principle that ought implies can. I argue (...)
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  • Why Epistemic Reductionism Won’t Save the Moral Error Theorist.Alex Murphy - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (1):53-69.
    Moral error theorists often respond to the epistemic companions in guilt strategy by adopting the Disparity Response: reject the putative parity between moral and epistemic reasons and claim that though the former are irreducibly normative, the latter aren’t. I argue such a response fails. Expanding on Das’ Australas J Philos 95:58–69, work I present a master argument against Disparity Responses: the arguments moral error theorists use to advance their conceptual claim apply in the epistemic domain also. This prohibits the error (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Epistemic Deontology and Voluntariness.Conor McHugh - 2012 - Erkenntnis 77 (1):65-94.
    We tend to prescribe and appraise doxastic states in terms that are broadly deontic. According to a simple argument, such prescriptions and appraisals are improper, because they wrongly presuppose that our doxastic states are voluntary. One strategy for resisting this argument, recently endorsed by a number of philosophers, is to claim that our doxastic states are in fact voluntary (This strategy has been pursued by Steup 2008 ; Weatherson 2008 ). In this paper I argue that this strategy is neither (...)
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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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  • The Value-Based Theory of Reasons.Barry Maguire - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3.
    This paper develops the Value-Based Theory of Reasons in some detail. The central part of the paper introduces a number of theoretically puzzling features of normative reasons. These include weight, transmission, overlap, and the promiscuity of reasons. It is argued that the Value-Based Theory of Reasons elegantly accounts for these features. This paper is programmatic. Its goal is to put the promising but surprisingly overlooked Value-Based Theory of Reasons on the table in discussions of normative reasons, and to draw attention (...)
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  • Normative metaphysics for accountants.Barry Maguire & Justin Snedegar - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (2):363-384.
    We use normative reasons in a bewildering variety of different ways. And yet, as many recent theorists have shown, one can discern systematic distinctions underlying this complexity. This paper is a contribution to this project of constructive normative metaphysics. We aim to bring a black sheep back into the flock: the balancing model of weighing reasons. This model is threatened by a variety of cases in which distinct reasons overlap, in the sense that they do not contribute separate weight for (...)
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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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  • Are reasons evidence of oughts?Franck Lihoreau - 2012 - Logos and Episteme 3 (1):153-160.
    In a series of recent papers Stephen Kearns and Daniel Star argue that normative reasons to ϕ simply are evidence that one ought to ϕ, and suggest that “evidence” in this context is best understood in standard Bayesian terms. I contest this suggestion.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Weighing Reasons.Stephen Kearns & Daniel Star - 2013 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (1):70-86.
    This paper is a response to two sets of published criticisms of the 'Reasons as Evidence’ thesis concerning normative reasons, proposed and defended in earlier papers. According to this thesis, a fact is a normative reason for an agent to Φ just in case this fact is evidence that this agent ought to Φ. John Broome and John Brunero have presented a number of challenging criticisms of this thesis which focus, for the most part, on problems that it appears to (...)
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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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  • Reasons First, by Mark Schroeder.Stephen Kearns - forthcoming - Mind.
    I may be allergic to Reasons First views (views, that is, views according to which all normative phenomena can be explained or analysed in terms of normative re.
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  • Reasons: Explanations or Evidence.Stephen Kearns & Daniel Star - 2008 - Ethics 119 (1):31-56.
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  • On good advice: a reply to McNaughton and Rawling.Stephen Kearns & Daniel Star - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):506-508.
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