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Holism, Weight, and Undercutting

Noûs 45 (2):328 - 344 (2011)

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  1. Jonathan Dancy. Ethics Without Principles (Oxford University Press, 2004)Sean McKeever and Michael Ridge. Principled Ethics (Oxford University Press, 2006). [REVIEW]Mark Schroeder - 2009 - Noûs 43 (3):568-580.
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  • Discussion Note: Selim Berker’s Combinatorial Argument Against Practical Reasons for Belief.Adam Shmidt - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-14.
    In a recent paper, Selim Berker develops an abductive argument against practical reasons for belief that exploits an alleged difference between epistemic and practical reasons. According to Berker, epistemic reasons for belief balance to suspension. If I have equally strong epistemic reasons to believe and disbelieve some proposition, I lack sufficient reason either to believe or disbelieve it. Rather, I have decisive reason to suspend judgment. In contrast, practical reasons balance to permission. If I have equally strong practical reasons to (...)
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  • Reasons and Moral Principles.Pekka Väyrynen - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. pp. 839-61.
    This paper is a survey of the generalism-particularism debate and related issues concerning the relationship between normative reasons and moral principles.
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  • Reasons, Evidence, and Explanations.John Brunero - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 321-341.
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  • Are There Indefeasible Epistemic Rules?Darren Bradley - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    What if your peers tell you that you should disregard your perceptions? Worse, what if your peers tell you to disregard the testimony of your peers? How should we respond if we get evidence that seems to undermine our epistemic rules? Several philosophers have argued that some epistemic rules are indefeasible. I will argue that all epistemic rules are defeasible. The result is a kind of epistemic particularism, according to which there are no simple rules connecting descriptive and normative facts. (...)
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  • Reasons as Defaults.John Horty - 2007 - Philosophers' Imprint 7:1-28.
    The goal of this paper is to frame a theory of reasons--what they are, how they support actions or conclusions--using the tools of default logic. After sketching the basic account of reasons as provided by defaults, I show how it can be elaborated to deal with two more complicated issues: first, situations in which the priority relation among defaults, and so reasons as well, is itself established through default reasoning; second, the treatment of undercutting defeat and exclusionary reasons. Finally, and (...)
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  • Rationality, Expected Utility Theory and the Precautionary Principle.Andreas Christiansen - 2019 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 22 (1):3-20.
    ABSTRACTA common objection to the precautionary principle is that it is irrational. I argue that this objection goes beyond the often-discussed claim that the principle is incoherent. Instead, I argue, expected utility theory is the source of several more sophisticated irrationality charges against the precautionary principle. I then defend the principle from these objections by arguing that the relevant features of the precautionary principle are part of plausible normative theories, and that the precautionary principle does not diverge more from ideal (...)
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  • Silencing Desires?Attila Tanyi - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (3):887-903.
    In an overlooked section of his influential book What We Owe to Each Other Thomas Scanlon advances an argument against the desire-model of practical reasoning. In Scanlon’s view the model gives a distorted picture of the structure of our practical thinking. His idea is that there is an alternative to the “weighing behavior” of reasons, a particular way in which reasons can relate to each other. This phenomenon, which the paper calls “silencing”, is not something that the desire-model can accommodate, (...)
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  • Pragmatism and Semantic Particularism.Javier González de Prado Salas - 2016 - Disputatio 8 (43):219-232.
    Pragmatist views inspired by Peirce characterize the content of claims in terms of their practical consequences. The content of a claim is, on these views, determined by what actions are rationally recommended or supported by that claim. In this paper I examine the defeasibility of these relations of rational support. I will argue that such defeasibility introduces a particularist, occasion-sensitive dimension in pragmatist theories of content. More precisely, my conclusion will be that, in the sort of framework naturally derived from (...)
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  • Defeasibility and Inferential Particularism.Javier González de Prado Salas - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 25 (1):80-98.
    In this paper I argue that defeasible inferences are occasion-sensitive: the inferential connections of a given claim depend on features of the circumstances surrounding the occasion of inference. More specifically, it is an occasion-sensitive matter which possible defeaters have to be considered explicitly by the premises of an inference and which possible defeaters may remain unconsidered, without making the inference enthymematic. As a result, a largely unexplored form of occasion-sensitivity arises in inferentialist theories of content that appeal to defeasible inferences.
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  • Problems and Solutions for a Hybrid Approach to Grounding Practical Normativity.Jeff Behrends - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (2):159-178.
    Source Hybridism about practical reasons is the position that facts that constitute reasons sometimes derive their normative force from external metaphysical grounds, and sometimes from internal. Although historically less popular than either Source Internalism or Source Externalism, hybridism has lately begun to garner more attention. Here, I further the hybridist's cause by defending Source Hybridism from three objections. I argue that we are not warranted in rejecting hybridism for any of the following reasons: that hybridists cannot provide an account of (...)
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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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  • Fallibility and Normativity.DiPaolo Joshua - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
    We are fallible, and knowledge of our fallibility has normative implications. But these normative implications appear to conflict with other compelling epistemic norms. We therefore appear to face a choice: reject fallibility-based norms or reject these other epistemic norms. I argue that there is a plausible third option: reconcile these two sets of norms. Once we properly understand the nature of each of these norms, we aren’t forced to reject either.
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  • Reasons Have No Weight.Dalia Drai - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (270):60-76.
    Practical reasoning is often described as weighing reasons. When one deliberates about what to do one puts all the reasons for the action on one side and all the reasons against the action on the other side. The balance between both sides determines the outcome of the deliberation. Assuming that this description is correct, the next question is how the different reasons for and against the action determine the outcome of the deliberation. This is the place where the notion of (...)
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  • Higher-Order Defeat is Object-Independent.Joshua DiPaolo - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    Higher-order defeat occurs when one loses justification for one's beliefs as a result of receiving evidence that those beliefs resulted from a cognitive malfunction. Several philosophers have identified features of higher-order defeat that distinguish it from familiar types of defeat. If higher-order defeat has these features, they are data an account of rational belief must capture. In this article, I identify a new distinguishing feature of higher-order defeat, and I argue that on its own, and in conjunction with the other (...)
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  • Reasons in Action.Michael Pendlebury - 2013 - Philosophical Papers 42 (3):341 - 368.
    When an agent performs an action because she takes something as a reason to do so, does she take it as a normative reason for the action or as an explanatory reason? In Reasons Without Rationalism, Setiya criticizes the normative view and advances a version of the explanatory view. I defend a version of the normative view against Setiya's criticisms and show that Setiya's explanatory account has two major flaws: it raises questions that it cannot answer about the occurrence of (...)
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  • Contrastivism and Negative Reason Existentials.Eric Gilbertson - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (1):69-78.
    Snedegar offers a contrastivist solution to the puzzle about negative reason existentials, which he argues is preferable to Schroeder's own pragmatic solution. The proposed solution however raises a difficulty for contrastivism, as it suggests an alternative according to which the relevant contrast classes are determined not by the semantics of reason ascriptions but rather by pragmatic effects of contrastive stress. Nevertheless, I suggest there is a contrastivist-friendly solution to the puzzle. In what follows, I explain the problem for Snedegar's account, (...)
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  • Reason Holism, Individuation, and Embeddedness.Peter Tsu - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (5):1091-1103.
    The goal of this paper is to promote what I call ‘the embedded thesis’ as a general constraint on how moral reasons behave. Dancy’s reason holism will be used as a foil to illustrate the thesis. According to Dancy’s reason holism, moral reasons behave in a holistic way; that is, a feature that is a moral reason in one context might not be so in another or might even be an opposite reason. The way a feature manages to switch its (...)
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  • Can the Canberrans’ Supervenience Argument Refute Shapeless Moral Particularism?Peter Tsu - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (3):545-560.
    Frank Jackson, Michael Smith, and Philip Pettit contend in their 2000 paper that an argument from supervenience deals a fatal blow to shapeless moral particularism, the view that the moral is shapeless with respect to the natural. A decade has passed since the Canberrans advanced their highly influential supervenience argument. Yet, there has not been any compelling counter-argument against it, as far as I can see. My aim in this paper is to fill in this void and defend SMP against (...)
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  • Defeaters and Practical Knowledge.Carla Bagnoli - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):2855-2875.
    This paper situates the problem of defeaters in a larger debate about the source of normative authority. It argues in favour of a constructivist account of defeasibility, which appeals to the justificatory role of normative principles. The argument builds upon the critique of two recent attempts to deal with defeasibility: first, a particularist account, which disposes of moral principles on the ground that reasons are holistic; and second, a proceduralist view, which addresses the problem of defeaters by distinguishing between provisional (...)
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  • Normativity and Self-Relations.Yair Levy - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (2):359-374.
    The paper criticizes two prominent accounts which purport to explain normativity by appealing to some relation that one bears to oneself. Michael Bratman argues that one has reason to be formally coherent because otherwise one would fail to govern oneself. And David Velleman argues that one has reason to be formally coherent because otherwise one would be less intelligible to oneself. Both Bratman and Velleman argue in quite different ways that rational coherence is normative because it is necessary for the (...)
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