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  1. The Importance of Being Rational.Errol Lord - 2013 - Dissertation, Princeton University
    My dissertation is a systematic defense of the claim that what it is to be rational is to correctly respond to the reasons you possess. The dissertation is split into two parts, each consisting of three chapters. In Part I--Coherence, Possession, and Correctly Responding--I argue that my view has important advantages over popular views in metaethics that tie rationality to coherence (ch. 2), defend a novel view of what it is to possess a reason (ch. 3), and defend a novel (...)
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  • Constructivism in Ethics.Carla Bagnoli (ed.) - 2013 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
    Are there such things as moral truths? How do we know what we should do? And does it matter? Constructivism states that moral truths are neither invented nor discovered, but rather are constructed by rational agents in order to solve practical problems. While constructivism has become the focus of many philosophical debates in normative ethics, meta-ethics and action theory, its importance is still to be fully appreciated. These new essays written by leading scholars define and assess this new approach in (...)
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  • Subjective Reasons.Eric Vogelstein - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (2):239-257.
    In recent years, the notion of a reason has come to occupy a central place in both metaethics and normative theory more broadly. Indeed, many philosophers have come to view reasons as providing the basis of normativity itself . The common conception is that reasons are facts that count in favor of some act or attitude. More recently, philosophers have begun to appreciate a distinction between objective and subjective reasons, where (roughly) objective reasons are determined by the facts, while subjective (...)
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  • Resisting buck-passing accounts of prudential value.Guy Fletcher - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (1):77-91.
    This paper aims to cast doubt upon a certain way of analysing prudential value (or good for ), namely in the manner of a ‘buck-passing’ analysis. It begins by explaining why we should be interested in analyses of good for and the nature of buck-passing analyses generally (§I). It moves on to considering and rejecting two sets of buck-passing analyses. The first are analyses that are likely to be suggested by those attracted to the idea of analysing good for in (...)
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  • What’s the matter with Huck Finn?Hrishikesh Joshi - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (1):70-87.
    This paper explores some key commitments of the idea that it can be rational to do what you believe you ought not to do. I suggest that there is a prima facie tension between this idea and certain plausible coherence constraints on rational agency. I propose a way to resolve this tension. While akratic agents are always irrational, they are not always practically irrational, as many authors assume. Rather, “inverse” akratics like Huck Finn fail in a distinctively theoretical way. What (...)
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  • What You’re Rationally Required to Do and What You Ought to Do.Errol Lord - 2017 - Mind 126 (504):1109-1154.
    It is a truism that we ought to be rational. Despite this, it has become popular to think that it is not the case that we ought to be rational. In this paper I argue for a view about rationality—the view that what one is rationally required to do is determined by the normative reasons one possesses—by showing that it can vindicate that one ought to be rational. I do this by showing that it is independently very plausible that what (...)
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  • The fundamental reason for reasons fundamentalism.Mark Schroeder - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3107-3127.
    Reasons, it is often said, are king in contemporary normative theory. Some philosophers say not only that the vocabulary of reasons is useful, but that reasons play a fundamental explanatory role in normative theory—that many, most, or even all, other normative facts are grounded in facts about reasons. Even if reasons fundamentalism, the strongest version of this view, has only been wholeheartedly endorsed by a few philosophers, it has a kind of prominence in contemporary normative theory that suits it to (...)
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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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  • Pluralism About Practical Reasons and Reason Explanations.Eva Schmidt & Hans-Johann Glock - 2021 - Philosophical Explorations (2):1-18.
    This paper maintains that objectivism about practical reasons should be combined with pluralism both about the nature of practical reasons and about action explanations. We argue for an ‘expanding circle of practical reasons’, starting out from an open-minded monist objectivism. On this view, practical reasons are not limited to actual facts, but consist in states of affairs, possible facts that may or may not obtain. Going beyond such ‘that-ish’ reasons, we argue that goals are also bona fide practical reasons. This (...)
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  • In defence of good simpliciter.Richard Rowland - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1371-1391.
    Many including Judith Jarvis Thomson, Philippa Foot, Peter Geach, Richard Kraut, and Paul Ziff have argued for good simpliciter skepticism. According to good simpliciter skepticism, we should hold that there is no concept of being good simpliciter or that there is no property of being good simpliciter. I first show that prima facie we should not accept either form of good simpliciter skepticism. I then show that all of the arguments that good simpliciter skeptics have proposed for their view fail (...)
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  • Compunction, Second-Personal Morality, and Moral Reasons.Dale E. Miller - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (3):719-733.
    In The Second-Person Standpoint and subsequent essays, Stephen Darwall develops an account of morality that is “second-personal” in virtue of holding that what we are morally obligated to do is what others can legitimately demand that we do, i.e., what they can hold us accountable for doing through moral reactive attitudes like blame. Similarly, what it would be wrong for us to do is what others can legitimately demand that we abstain from doing. As part of this account, Darwall argues (...)
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  • Fittingness First.Conor McHugh & Jonathan Way - 2016 - Ethics 126 (3):575-606.
    According to the fitting-attitudes account of value, for X to be good is for it to be fitting to value X. But what is it for an attitude to be fitting? A popular recent view is that it is for there to be sufficient reason for the attitude. In this paper we argue that proponents of the fitting-attitudes account should reject this view and instead take fittingness as basic. In this way they avoid the notorious ‘wrong kind of reason’ problem, (...)
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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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  • Agent-Relative Reasons as Second-Order Value Responses.Jörg Https://Orcidorg Löschke - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):477-491.
    Agent-relative reasons are an important feature of any nonconsequentialist moral theory. Many authors think that they cannot be accommodated within a value-first theory that understands all value as agent-neutral. In this paper, I offer a novel explanation of agent-relative reasons that accommodates them fully within an agent-neutral value-first view. I argue that agent-relative reasons are to be understood in terms of second-order value responses: when an agent acts on an agent-relative reason, she responds appropriately to the agent-neutral value of her (...)
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  • Why and When is Pure Moral Motivation Defective.David Heering - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (2):665-684.
    Agents sometimes have a final, de dicto desire to do what is right. They desire to do what is right for its own sake and under this description. These agents have pure moral motivation (PMM). It is often surmised that PMM is in some sense defective. Most famously, it has been suggested that PMM manifests a kind of moral fetishism. However, it also seems defective if an agent shows no concern whatsoever for moral rightness in their motivations. In this paper, (...)
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  • Sources, reasons, and requirements.Bruno Guindon - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1253-1268.
    This paper offers two competing accounts of normative requirements, each of which purports to explain why some—but not all—requirements are normative in the sense of being related to normative reasons in some robust way. According to the reasons-sensitive view, normative requirements are those and only those which are sensitive to normative reasons. On this account, normative requirements are second-order statements about what there is conclusive reason to do, in the broad sense of the term. According to the reasons-providing view—which I (...)
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  • Explaining Normative Reasons.Daniel Fogal & Olle Risberg - 2023 - Noûs 57 (1):51-80.
    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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  • 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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  • The Source of Responsibility.Randolph Clarke - 2023 - Ethics 133 (2):163–188.
    Although we are morally responsible for things of various kinds, what we bear direct responsibility for are certain exercises of our agency (and perhaps some omissions of these). Theorists disagree about what kind of agency is in this respect the source of our responsibility. Some hold that it is agency the exercises of which are actions. Others say that it is agency exercised in forming reasons-responsive attitudes on the basis of our take on reasons (or value). With attention to the (...)
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  • Agent-Relativity and the Foundations of Moral Theory.Matthew Hammerton - 2017 - Dissertation, Australian National University
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  • Rationality has its reasons, of which reason knows not: A vindication of the normativity of rationality.Bruno Guindon - unknown
    There is a growing consensus, long maintained by Derek Parfit, that there is an important distinction between what we have reason to do on the one hand, and what it is rational for us to do on the other. Philosophers are now realising that there is a conceptual distinction between rationality and normativity. Given this distinction, it thus becomes a substantive question whether rationality is genuinely normative; that is, whether there is any reason to do what rationality requires. While some (...)
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