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Having reasons

Philosophical Studies 139 (1):57 - 71 (2008)

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  1. The Social Construction of Incompetency: Moving Beyond Embedded Paternalism Toward the Practice of Respect.Supriya Subramani - 2020 - Health Care Analysis 28 (3):249-265.
    This article illustrates the less-acknowledged social construction of the concept of ‘incompetency’ and draws attention to the moral concerns it raises in health care encounters in the south Indian city of Chennai. Based on data drawn from qualitative research, this study suggests that surgeons subjectively construct the idea of incompetency through their understanding of the perceived circumstantial characteristics of the patients and family members they serve. The findings indicate that surgeons often underestimate patients and family members’ capacity based on constructed (...)
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  • The explanatory role of consistency requirements.Marc-Kevin Daoust - 2020 - Synthese 197 (10):4551-4569.
    Is epistemic inconsistency a mere symptom of having violated other requirements of rationality—notably, reasons-responsiveness requirements? Or is inconsistency irrational on its own? This question has important implications for the debate on the normativity of epistemic rationality. In this paper, I defend a new account of the explanatory role of the requirement of epistemic consistency. Roughly, I will argue that, in cases where an epistemically rational agent is permitted to believe P and also permitted to disbelieve P, the consistency requirement plays (...)
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  • A Dilemma for Non‐Analytic Naturalism.Andrew T. Forcehimes - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (2):228-247.
    In recent years, an impressive research program has developed around non-analytic reductions of the normative. Nevertheless, non-analytic naturalists face a damning dilemma: either they need to give the same reductive analysis for epistemic and practical reasons, or they can give a different analyses by treating epistemic and practical reasons as a species of the larger genus, reasonhood. Since, for example, a desire-based account of epistemic reasons is implausible, the reductionist must opt for the latter. Yet, if the desire-based account of (...)
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  • How and Why Knowledge is First.Clayton Littlejohn - 2017 - In A. Carter, E. Gordon & B. Jarvis (eds.), Knowledge First. Oxford University Press. pp. 19-45.
    A defense of the idea that knowledge is first in the sense that there is nothing prior to knowledge that puts reasons or evidence in your possession. Includes a critical discussion of the idea that perception or perceptual experience might provide reasons and a defense of a knowledge-first approach to justified belief.
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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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  • You Ought to Φ Only If You May Believe That You Ought to Φ.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (265):760-82.
    In this paper I present an argument for the claim that you ought to do something only if you may believe that you ought to do it. More exactly, I defend the following principle about normative reasons: An agent A has decisive reason to φ only if she also has sufficient reason to believe that she has decisive reason to φ. I argue that this principle follows from the plausible assumption that it must be possible for an agent to respond (...)
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  • Normative Reasons as Good Bases.Alex Gregory - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (9):2291-2310.
    In this paper, I defend a new theory of normative reasons called reasons as good bases, according to which a normative reason to φ is something that is a good basis for φing. The idea is that the grounds on which we do things—bases—can be better or worse as things of their kind, and a normative reason—a good reason—is something that is just a good instance of such a ground. After introducing RGB, I clarify what it is to be a (...)
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  • Can Objectivists Account for Subjective Reasons?Daniel Wodak - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12 (3):259-279.
    I argue that existing objectivist accounts of subjective reasons face systematic problems with cases involving probability and possibility. I then offer a diagnosis of why objectivists face these problems, and recommend that objectivists seek to provide indirect analyses of subjective reasons.
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  • Possessing Epistemic Reasons: The Role of Rational Capacities.Eva Schmidt - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (2):483-501.
    In this paper, I defend a reasons-first view of epistemic justification, according to which the justification of our beliefs arises entirely in virtue of the epistemic reasons we possess. I remove three obstacles for this view, which result from its presupposition that epistemic reasons have to be possessed by the subject: the problem that reasons-first accounts of justification are necessarily circular; the problem that they cannot give special epistemic significance to perceptual experience; the problem that they have to say that (...)
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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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  • Motivating Reason to Slow the Factive Turn in Epistemology.J. Drake - forthcoming - In Veli Mitova (ed.), The Factive Turn in Epistemology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 1-22.
    In this paper I give a novel argument for the view that epistemic normative reasons (or evidence) need not be facts. I first argue that the nature of normative reasons is uniform, such that our positions about the factivity of reasons should agree across normative realms –– whether epistemic, moral, practical, or otherwise. With that in mind, I proceed in a somewhat indirect way. I argue that if practical motivating reasons are not factive, then practical normative reasons are not factive. (...)
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  • Moral Intuitionism, Experiments and Skeptical Arguments.Mark van Roojen - forthcoming - In Anthony Booth & Darrell Rowbottom (eds.), Intuitions. Oxford University Press.
    Over the last decade there have been various attempts to use empirical data about people’s dispositions to choose to undermine various moral positions by arguing that our judgements about what to do are unreliable. Usually they are directed at non-consequentialists by consequentialists, but they have also been directed at all moral theories by skeptics about morality. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong has been one of the leading proponents of such general skepticism. He has argued that empirical results particularly undermine intuitionist moral epistemology. This (...)
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  • Grounding the Domains of Reasons.Stephanie Leary - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (1):137-152.
    A good account of normative reasons should explain not only what makes practical and epistemic reasons a unified kind of thing, but also why practical and epistemic reasons are substantively differ...
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  • Reasons and Theoretical Rationality.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In Daniel Star (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford University Press.
    A discussion of epistemic reasons, theoretical rationality, and the relationship between them. Discusses the ontology of reasons and evidence, the relationship between reasons (motivating, normative, possessed, apparent, genuine, etc.) and rationality, the relationship between epistemic reasons and evidence, the relationship between rationality, justification, and knowledge, and many other related topics.
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  • Subjective Unpossessed Reasons.Arturs Logins - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (4):262-270.
    A common assumption in contemporary debates about normative reasons is that ‘subjective’ and ‘possessed’ are two names for the same sort of reason. This paper challenges that assumption. Given our cognitive limitations, it is unsurprising that normative reasons that derive from what we know and reasons that we are in a position to use in our deliberation are not always one and the same.
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  • Rational Requirements and the Primacy of Pressure.Daniel Fogal - forthcoming - Mind:fzz038.
    There are at least two threads in our thought and talk about rationality, both practical and theoretical. In one sense, to be rational is to respond correctly to the reasons one has. Call this substantive rationality. In another sense, to be rational is to be coherent, or to have the right structural relations hold between one’s mental states, independently of whether those attitudes are justified. Call this structural rationality. According to the standard view, structural rationality is associated with a distinctive (...)
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  • Reflective Epistemological Disjunctivism.J. J. Cunningham - 2016 - Episteme 13 (1):111-132.
    It is now common to distinguish Metaphysical from Epistemological Disjunctivism. It is equally common to suggest that it is at least not obvious that the latter requires a commitment to the former: at the very least, a suitable bridge principle will need to be identified which takes one from the latter to the former. This paper identifies a plausible-looking bridge principle that takes one from the version of Epistemological Disjunctivism defended by John McDowell and Duncan Pritchard, which I label Reflective (...)
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  • Having False Reasons.Juan Comesaña & Matthew McGrath - 2014 - In Clayton Littlejohn & John Turri (eds.), Epistemic Norms. Oxford University Press. pp. 59-80.
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  • Affective Experience, Desire, and Reasons for Action.Declan Smithies & Jeremy Weiss - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (1):27-54.
    What is the role of affective experience in explaining how our desires provide us with reasons for action? When we desire that p, we are thereby disposed to feel attracted to the prospect that p, or to feel averse to the prospect that not-p. In this paper, we argue that affective experiences – including feelings of attraction and aversion – provide us with reasons for action in virtue of their phenomenal character. Moreover, we argue that desires provide us with reasons (...)
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  • On the Normativity of Rationality and of Normative Reasons.Clayton Littlejohn & Julien Dutant - manuscript
    Abstract: Scepticism about the normativity of rationality is often partially based on the assumption that normative reasons are normative. Starting from the assumption that normative reasons are normative, someone will argue that reasons and rationality can require different things from us and conclude that rationality must not be normative. We think that the assumption that normative reasons are normative is one that deserves more scrutiny, particularly if it turns out, as we shall argue, that no one has yet shown that (...)
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  • Not Just a Truthometer: Taking Oneself Seriously (but Not Too Seriously) in Cases of Peer Disagreement.David Enoch - 2010 - Mind 119 (476):953-997.
    How should you update your (degrees of) belief about a proposition when you find out that someone else — as reliable as you are in these matters — disagrees with you about its truth value? There are now several different answers to this question — the question of `peer disagreement' — in the literature, but none, I think, is plausible. Even more importantly, none of the answers in the literature places the peer-disagreement debate in its natural place among the most (...)
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  • The Problem of Easy Justification: An Investigation of Evidence, Justification, and Reliability.Samuel Alexander Taylor - unknown
    Our beliefs utilize various sources: perception, memory, induction, etc. We trust these sources to provide reliable information about the world around us. My dissertation investigates how this trust could be justified. Chapter one introduces background material. I argue that justification rather than knowledge is of primary epistemological importance, discuss the internalism/externalism debate, and introduce an evidentialist thesis that provides a starting point/framework for epistemological theorizing. Chapter two introduces a puzzle concerning justification. Can a belief source provide justification absent prior justification (...)
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  • Williamson on Gettier Cases in Epistemic Logic and the Knowledge Norm for Rational Belief: A Reply to a Reply to a Reply.Stewart Cohen & Juan Comesaña - 2013 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (4):400-415.
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  • What Apparent Reasons Appear to Be.Kurt Sylvan - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (3):587-606.
    Many meta-ethicists have thought that rationality requires us to heed apparent normative reasons, not objective normative reasons. But what are apparent reasons? There are two kinds of standard answers. On de dicto views, R is an apparent reason for S to \ when it appears to S that R is an objective reason to \ . On de re views, R is an apparent reason for S to \ when R’s truth would constitute an objective reason for S to \ (...)
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  • Perceptual Reasons.Juan Comesana & Matthew McGrath - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (4):991-1006.
    The two main theories of perceptual reasons in contemporary epistemology can be called Phenomenalism and Factualism. According to Phenomenalism, perceptual reasons are facts about experiences conceived of as phenomenal states, i.e., states individuated by phenomenal character, by what it’s like to be in them. According to Factualism, perceptual reasons are instead facts about the external objects perceived. The main problem with Factualism is that it struggles with bad cases: cases where perceived objects are not what they appear or where there (...)
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  • Acting and Believing Under the Guise of Normative Reasons.Keshav Singh - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (2):409-430.
    In this paper, I defend an account of the reasons for which we act, believe, and so on for any Ф such that there can be reasons for which we Ф. Such reasons are standardly called motivating reasons. I argue that three dominant views of motivating reasons all fail to capture the ordinary concept of a motivating reason. I show this by drawing out three constraints on what motivating reasons must be, and demonstrating how each view fails to satisfy at (...)
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  • Public Justification and the Reactive Attitudes.Anthony Taylor - 2018 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 17 (1):97-113.
    A distinctive position in contemporary political philosophy is occupied by those who defend the principle of public justification. This principle states that the moral or political rules that govern our common life must be in some sense justifiable to all reasonable citizens. In this article, I evaluate Gerald Gaus’s defence of this principle, which holds that it is presupposed by our moral reactive attitudes of resentment and indignation. He argues, echoing P.F. Strawson in ‘Freedom and Resentment’, that these attitudes are (...)
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  • On the Normativity of Intentions.Bruno Verbeek - 2014 - Topoi 33 (1):87-101.
    Suppose you intend now to φ at some future time t. However, when t has come you do not φ. Something has gone wrong. This failing is not just a causal but also a normative failing. This raises the question how to characterize this failing. I discuss three alternative views. On the first view, the fact that you do not execute your intention to φ is blameworthy only if the balance of reasons pointed to φ-ing. The fact that you intended (...)
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  • It's Not What It Seems. A Semantic Account of ‘Seems’ and Seemings.Berit Brogaard - 2013 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (2-3):210-239.
    I start out by reviewing the semantics of ‘seem’. As ‘seem’ is a subject-raising verb, ‘it seems’ can be treated as a sentential operator. I look at the semantic and logical properties of ‘it seems’. I argue that ‘it seems’ is a hyperintensional and contextually flexible operator. The operator distributes over conjunction but not over disjunction, conditionals or semantic entailments. I further argue that ‘it seems’ does not commute with negation and does not agglomerate with conjunction. I then show that (...)
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  • Veritism Unswamped.Kurt Sylvan - 2018 - Mind 127 (506):381-435.
    According to Veritism, true belief is the sole fundamental epistemic value. Epistemologists often take Veritism to entail that all other epistemic items can only have value by standing in certain instrumental relations—namely, by tending to produce a high ratio of true to false beliefs or by being products of sources with this tendency. Yet many value theorists outside epistemology deny that all derivative value is grounded in instrumental relations to fundamental value. Veritists, I believe, can and should follow suit. After (...)
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  • What Ought Probably Means, and Why You Can’T Detach It.Stephen Finlay - 2010 - Synthese 177 (1):67 - 89.
    Some intuitive normative principles raise vexing 'detaching problems' by their failure to license modus ponens. I examine three such principles (a self-reliance principle and two different instrumental principles) and recent stategies employed to resolve their detaching problems. I show that solving these problems necessitates postulating an indefinitely large number of senses for 'ought'. The semantics for 'ought' that is standard in linguistics offers a unifying strategy for solving these problems, but I argue that an alternative approach combining an end-relational theory (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Evidence and its Limits.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In Conor McHugh Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Normativity: Epistemic and Practical. Oxford University Press.
    On a standard view about reasons, evidence, and justification, there is justification for you to believe all and only what your evidence supports and the reasons that determine whether there is justification to believe are all just pieces of evidence. This view is mistaken about two things. It is mistaken about the rational role of evidence. It is also mistaken about the rational role of reasons. To show this, I present two basis problems for the standard view and argue that (...)
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  • What Makes Reasons Sufficient?Mark Schroeder - 2015 - American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (2):159-170.
    This paper addresses the question: ‘what makes reasons sufficient?’ and offers the answer, ‘being at least as weighty as the reasons for the alternatives’. The paper starts by introducing some of the reasons why sufficiency has seemed difficult to understand, particularly in epistemology, and some circumstantial evidence that this has contributed to more general problems in the epistemological literature. It then introduces the positive account of sufficiency, and explains how this captures sufficiency in both the practical and epistemic domains. Finally, (...)
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  • The Place of Reasons in Epistemology.Kurt Sylvan & Ernest Sosa - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity.
    This paper considers the place of reasons in the metaphysics of epistemic normativity and defends a middle ground between two popular extremes in the literature. Against members of the ‘reasons first’ movement, we argue that reasons are not the sole fundamental constituents of epistemic normativity. We suggest instead that the virtue-theoretic property of competence is the key building block. To support this approach, we note that reasons must be possessed to play a role in the analysis of central epistemically normative (...)
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  • A Better Disjunctivist Response to the 'New Evil Genius' Challenge.Kegan J. Shaw - 2017 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (1-2):101-125.
    This paper aims for a more robust epistemological disjunctivism (ED) by offering on its behalf a new and better response to the ‘new evil genius’ problem. The first section articulates the ‘new evil genius challenge’ (NEG challenge) to ED, specifying its two components: the ‘first-order’ and ‘diagnostic’ problems for ED. The first-order problem challenges proponents of ED to offer some explanation of the intuition behind the thought that your radically deceived duplicate is no less justified than you are for adopting (...)
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  • Reasons, Coherence, and Group Rationality.Brian Hedden - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):581-604.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Contextualism About Epistemic Reasons.Daniel Fogal & Kurt Sylvan - 2017 - In Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism. Routledge.
    This paper surveys some ways in which epistemic reasons ascriptions (or ERAs) appear to be context-sensitive, and outlines a framework for thinking about the nature of this context-sensitivity that is intimately related to ERAs' explanatory function.
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  • In Defense of the Kantian Account of Knowledge: Reply to Whiting.Mark Schroeder - 2015 - Logos and Episteme 6 (3): 371-382.
    In this paper I defend the view that knowledge is belief for reasons that are both objectively and subjectively sufficient from an important objection due to Daniel Whiting, in this journal. Whiting argues that this view fails to deal adequately with a familiar sort of counterexample to analyses of knowledge, fake barn cases. I accept Whiting’s conclusion that my earlier paper offered an inadequate treatment of fake barn cases, but defend a new account of basic perceptual reasons that is consistent (...)
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  • The Coherent and the Rational.Errol Lord - 2014 - Analytic Philosophy 55 (2):151-175.
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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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  • Stakes, Withholding, and Pragmatic Encroachment on Knowledge.Mark Schroeder - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (2):265 - 285.
    Several authors have recently endorsed the thesis that there is what has been called pragmatic encroachment on knowledge—in other words, that two people who are in the same situation with respect to truth-related factors may differ in whether they know something, due to a difference in their practical circumstances. This paper aims not to defend this thesis, but to explore how it could be true. What I aim to do, is to show how practical factors could play a role in (...)
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  • How Do Roles Generate Reasons? A Method of Legal Ethics.Stephen Galoob - 2012 - Legal Ethics 15 (1):1-28.
    Philosophical discussions of legal ethics should be oriented around the generative problem , which asks two fundamental questions. First, how does the lawyer's role generate reasons? Second, what kinds of reasons can this role generate? Every extant theory of legal ethics is based on a solution to the generative problem. On the generative method , theories of legal ethics are evaluated based on the plausibility of these solutions. I apply this method to three prominent theories of legal ethics, finding that (...)
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  • Are All Reasons Causes?Christina Dietz - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1179-1190.
    In this paper, I revisit the Davidsonian thesis that all reasons are causes. Drawing on a better taxonomy of reasons than the one Davidson provides, I argue that this thesis is either indefensible or uninteresting.
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  • Putting Reasons First: A Defense of Normative Non-Naturalism.Andrew T. Forcehimes - unknown
    Against non-analytic naturalism and quietist realism, I defend a robust form of non-naturalism. The argument proceeds as follows: In the face of extensional underdetermination, quietist realism cannot non-question-beggingly respond to alternative accounts that offer formally identical but substantively different interpretations of what reasons are. They face what we might call the reasons appropriation problem. In light of this problem, quietists ought to abandon their view in favor of robust realism. By permitting substantive metaphysical claims we can then argue, based on (...)
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  • Is Justification Easy or Impossible? Getting Acquainted with a Middle Road.Samuel A. Taylor - 2015 - Synthese 192 (9):2987-3009.
    Can a belief source confer justification when we lack antecedent justification for believing that it’s reliable? A negative answer quickly leads to skepticism. A positive answer, however, seems to commit one to allowing pernicious reasoning known as “epistemic bootstrapping.” Puzzles surrounding bootstrapping arise because we illicitly assume either that justification requires doxastic awareness of a source’s epistemic credentials or that there is no requirement that a subject be aware of these credentials. We can resolve the puzzle by splitting the horns (...)
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  • Moral Normativity.Eric Vogelstein - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):1083-1095.
    It is a platitude that morality is normative, but a substantive and interesting question whether morality is normative in a robust and important way; and although it is often assumed that morality is indeed robustly normative, that view is by no means uncontroversial, and a compelling argument for it is conspicuously lacking. In this paper, I provide such an argument. I argue, based on plausible claims about the relationship between moral wrongs and moral criticizability, and the relationship between criticizability and (...)
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  • Justice: Metaphysical, After All? [REVIEW]Ryan W. Davis - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (2):207-222.
    Political liberals, following Rawls, believe that justice should be ‘political’ rather than ‘metaphysical.’ In other words, a conception of justice ought to be freestanding from first-order moral and metaethical views. The reason for this is to ensure that the state’s coercion be justified to citizens in terms that meet political liberalism’s principle of legitimacy. I suggest that privileging a political conception of justice involves costs—such as forgoing the opportunity for political theory to learn from other areas of philosophy. I argue (...)
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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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