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Holism, Weight, and Undercutting

Noûs 45 (2):328 - 344 (2010)

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  1. 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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  • 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. This paper advances a version of the normative view and shows that it is not subject to Setiya's criticisms. It also shows that Setiya's explanatory account is subject to two fatal flaws, (...)
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  • Reasons and Moral Principles.Pekka Väyrynen - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press. 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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  • 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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  • Jonathan Dancy. Ethics Without Principles (Oxford University Press, 2004) Sean McKeever and Michael Ridge. Principled Ethics. [REVIEW]Mark Schroeder - 2009 - Noûs 43 (3):568-580.
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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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  • In defence of object-given reasons.Michael Vollmer - 2024 - Philosophical Studies 181 (2):485-511.
    One recurrent objection to the idea that the right kind of reasons for or against an attitude are object-given reasons for or against that attitude is that object-given reasons for or against belief and disbelief are incapable of explaining certain features of epistemic normativity. Prohibitive balancing, the behaviour of bare statistical evidence, information about future or easily available evidence, pragmatic and moral encroachment, as well as higher-order defeaters, are all said to be inexplicable in terms of those object-given reasons. In (...)
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  • Future Selves, Paternalism and Our Rational Powers.Kyle van Oosterum - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper challenges the two aims of Michael Cholbi’s Rational Will View (RWV) which are to (1) offer an account of why paternalism is presumptively or pro tanto wrong and (2) relate the relative wrongness of paternalistic interventions to the rational powers that such interventions target (Sections 1 and 2). Some of a paternalizee’s choices harm their future selves in ways that would be wrong if they were done to others. I claim this challenges Cholbi’s second aim (2) because the (...)
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  • Can the Canberrans’ Supervenience Argument Refute Shapeless Moral Particularism?Peter Shiu-Hwa 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • A puzzle about enkratic reasoning.Jonathan Way - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3177-3196.
    Enkratic reasoning—reasoning from believing that you ought to do something to an intention to do that thing—seems good. But there is a puzzle about how it could be. Good reasoning preserves correctness, other things equal. But enkratic reasoning does not preserve correctness. This is because what you ought to do depends on your epistemic position, but what it is correct to intend does not. In this paper, I motivate these claims and thus show that there is a puzzle. I then (...)
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  • What Doesn’t Kill Primary Reason Atomism Will Only Make It Stronger: A Limited Defense.Peter Shiu-Hwa Tsu - 2023 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 26 (3):431-446.
    Against the reason holists (e.g. Dancy 2014), it has been contended by many reason atomists that while many features might well change their reason statuses or valences in different contexts in the way suggested by reason holists, they are merely secondary rather than primary reasons. In these atomists’ scheme of things, there are features that function as primary reasons whose reason statuses remain invariant across contexts. Moreover, these features provide the ultimate source of explanations for why some features, qua secondary (...)
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  • Reason Holism, Individuation, and Embeddedness.Peter Shiu-Hwa 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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  • Discussion Note: Selim Berker’s Combinatorial Argument against Practical Reasons for Belief.Adam Shmidt - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (2):763-776.
    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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  • Two factor-based models of precedential constraint: a comparison and proposal.Robert Mullins - 2023 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 31 (4):703-738.
    The article considers two different interpretations of the reason model of precedent pioneered by John Horty. On a plausible interpretation of the reason model, past cases provide reasons to prioritize reasons favouring the same outcome as a past case over reasons favouring the opposing outcome. Here I consider the merits of this approach to the role of precedent in legal reasoning in comparison with a closely related view favoured by some legal theorists, according to which past cases provide reasons for (...)
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  • Protected reasons and precedential constraint.Robert Mullins - 2020 - Legal Theory 26 (1):40-61.
    ABSTRACTAccording to the prioritized reason model of precedent, precedential constraint is explained in terms of the need for decision-makers to reconcile their decisions with a settled priority order extracted from past cases. The prioritized reason model of precedent departs from the view that common law rules comprise protected reasons for action. In this article I show that a model utilizing protected reasons and the prioritized reason model of precedential constraint are, in an important sense, equivalent. I then offer some reflections (...)
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  • Replies to Schafer, Schroeder, and Staffel.Errol Lord - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (2):476-487.
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  • Fittingness first?: Reasons to withhold belief.Wooram Lee - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (12):3565-3581.
    Recent years have seen the rise of fittingness-first views, which take fittingness to be the most basic normative feature, in terms of which other normative features can be explained. This paper poses a serious difficulty for the fittingness-first approach by showing that existing fittingness-first accounts cannot plausibly accommodate an important class of reasons: reasons not to believe a proposition. There are two kinds of reasons not to believe a proposition: considerations that are counterevidence; and considerations that count against believing the (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (2):248-269.
    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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  • 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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  • Rationality, Expected Utility Theory and the Precautionary Principle.Andreas Christiansen - 2019 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 22 (1):3-20.
    A 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, exp...
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  • Incommensurability, incomparability, and practical reason.Ruth Chang (ed.) - 1997 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard.
    Can quite different values be rationally weighed against one another? Can the value of one thing always be ranked as greater than, equal to, or less than the value of something else? If the answer to these questions is no, then in what areas do we find commensurability and comparability unavailable? And what are the implications for moral and legal decision making? This book struggles with these questions, and arrives at distinctly different answers.".
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  • Reasons and Defeasible Reasoning.John Brunero - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (1):41-64.
    According to the Reasoning View, a normative reason to φ is a premise in a pattern of sound reasoning leading to the conclusion to φ. But how should the Reasoning View account for reasons that are outweighed? One very promising proposal is to appeal to defeasible reasoning. On this proposal, when a reason is outweighed, the associated pattern of sound reasoning is defeated. Both Jonathan Way and Sam Asarnow have recently developed this idea in different ways. I argue that this (...)
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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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  • The democratic limits of political experiments.Eric Beerbohm, Ryan Davis & Adam Kern - 2020 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 19 (4):321-342.
    Since field experiments in democratic politics influence citizens and the relationships among citizens, they are freighted with normative significance. Yet the distinctively democratic concerns that bear upon such field experiments have not yet been systematically examined. In this paper, we taxonomize such democratic concerns. Our goal is not to justify any of them, but rather to reveal their basic structure, so that they can be scrutinized at further length. We argue that field experiments could be democratically objectionable even if they (...)
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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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  • Moral Generalism and Moral Particularism (2nd edition).Pekka Väyrynen - 2023 - In Christian B. Miller (ed.), The Bloomsbury Handbook of Ethics. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 381-396.
    This paper is a survey of the generalism-particularism debate in ethics. It's an updated version of "Moral Particularism", in Christian B. Miller (ed.), The Continuum Companion to Ethics (Continuum, 2011), pp. 247-260.
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  • Reasons, Evidence, and Explanations.John Brunero - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press. pp. 321-341.
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  • Formalizing Reasons, Oughts, and Requirements.Robert Mullins - 2020 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7:568-599.
    Reasons-based accounts of our normative conclusions face difficulties in distinguishing between what ought to be done and what is required. This article addresses this problem from a formal perspective. I introduce a rudimentary formalization of a reasons-based account and demonstrate that that the model faces difficulties in accounting for the distinction between oughts and requirements. I briefly critique attempts to distinguish between oughts and requirements by appealing to a difference in strength or weight of reasons. I then present a formalized (...)
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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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  • 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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