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  1. Explosion and the Normativity of Logic.Florian Steinberger - 2016 - Mind 125 (498):385-419.
    Logic has traditionally been construed as a normative discipline; it sets forth standards of correct reasoning. Explosion is a valid principle of classical logic. It states that an inconsistent set of propositions entails any proposition whatsoever. However, ordinary agents presumably do — occasionally, at least — have inconsistent belief sets. Yet it is false that such agents may, let alone ought to, believe any proposition they please. Therefore, our logic should not recognize explosion as a logical law. Call this the (...)
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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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  • Consequence and Normative Guidance.Florian Steinberger - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (2):306-328.
    Logic, the tradition has it, is normative for reasoning. But is that really so? And if so, in what sense is logic normative for reasoning? As Gilbert Harman has reminded us, devising a logic and devising a theory of reasoning are two separate enterprises. Hence, logic's normative authority cannot reside in the fact that principles of logic just are norms of reasoning. Once we cease to identify the two, we are left with a gap. To bridge the gap one would (...)
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  • Assessment Sensitivity: Relative Truth and its Applications.John MacFarlane - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    John MacFarlane explores how we might make sense of the idea that truth is relative. He provides new, satisfying accounts of parts of our thought and talk that have resisted traditional methods of analysis, including what we mean when we talk about what is tasty, what we know, what will happen, what might be the case, and what we ought to do.
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  • A User’s Guide to Hybrid Tools.Caleb Perl - forthcoming - Mind:fzy063.
    Hybrid metaethical theories have significant promise; they would have important upshots if they were true. But they also face severe problems. The problems are severe enough to make many philosophers doubt that they could be true. My ambition is to show that the problems are just instances of a highly general problem: a problem about what are sometimes called ‘intensional anaphora'. I'll also show that any adequate explanation of intensional anaphora immediately solves all the problems for the hybrid theorist. We (...)
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  • One Ought Too Many.Justin Snedegar Stephen Finlay - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):102-124.
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  • Deontic Modals and Hyperintensionality.Federico L. G. Faroldi - 2019 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 27 (4):387-410.
    In this paper I argue that deontic modals are hyperintensional, i.e. logically equivalent contents cannot be substituted in their scope. I give two arguments, one deductive and the other abductive. First, I show that the contrary thesis leads to falsity; second, I argue that a hyperintensional theory of deontic modals fares better than its rivals in terms of elegance, theoretical simplicity and explanatory power. I then propose a philosophical analysis of this thesis and outline some consequences. In Section 1 I (...)
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  • Articulate Forgiveness and Normative Constraints.Brandon Warmke - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (4):1-25.
    Philosophers writing on forgiveness typically defend the Resentment Theory of Forgiveness, the view that forgiveness is the overcoming of resentment. Rarely is much more said about the nature of resentment or how it is overcome when one forgives. Pamela Hieronymi, however, has advanced detailed accounts both of the nature of resentment and how one overcomes resentment when one forgives. In this paper, I argue that Hieronymi’s account of the nature of forgiveness is committed to two implausible claims about the norms (...)
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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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  • ‘Ought’ and Resolution Semantics.Fabrizio Cariani - 2013 - Noûs 47 (3):534-558.
    I motivate and characterize an intensional semantics for ‘ought’ on which it does not behave as a universal quantifier over possibilities. My motivational argument centers on taking at face value some standard challenges to the quantificational semantics, especially to the idea that ‘ought’-sentences satisfy the principle of Inheritance. I argue that standard pragmatic approaches to these puzzles are either not sufficiently detailed or unconvincing.
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  • Agency and Reasons in Epistemology.Luis R. G. Oliveira - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Ever since John Locke, philosophers have discussed the possibility of a normative epistemology: are there epistemic obligations binding the cognitive economy of belief and disbelief? Locke's influential answer was evidentialist: we have an epistemic obligation to believe in accordance with our evidence. In this dissertation, I place the contemporary literature on agency and reasons at the service of some such normative epistemology. I discuss the semantics of obligations, the connection between obligations and reasons to believe, the implausibility of Lockean evidentialism, (...)
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  • Non-Agential Permissibility In Epistemology.Luis R. G. Oliveira - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (2):389-394.
    Paul Silva has recently argued that doxastic justification does not have a basing requirement. An important part of his argument depends on the assumption that doxastic and moral permissibility have a parallel structure. I here reply to Silva's argument by challenging this assumption. I claim that moral permissibility is an agential notion, while doxastic permissibility is not. I then briefly explore the nature of these notions and briefly consider their implications for praise and blame.
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  • Instrumental Normativity: In Defense of the Transmission Principle.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):921-946.
    If you ought to perform a certain act, and some other action is a necessary means for you to perform that act, then you ought to perform that other action as well – or so it seems plausible to say. This transmission principle is of both practical and theoretical significance. The aim of this paper is to defend this principle against a number of recent objections, which (as I show) are all based on core assumptions of the view called actualism. (...)
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  • The Authority of Formality.Jack Woods - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13.
    Etiquette and other merely formal normative standards like legality, honor, and rules of games are taken less seriously than they should be. While these standards aren’t intrinsically reason providing (or “substantive”) in the way morality is often taken to be, they also play an important role in our practical lives: we collectively treat them as important for assessing the behavior of ourselves and others and as licensing particular forms of sanction for violations. I here develop a novel account of the (...)
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  • The "Guise of the Ought-to-Be". A Deontic View of the Intentionality of Desire.Federico Lauria - 2017 - In Federico Lauria & Julien Deonna (eds.), The Nature of Desire. New York: Oxford University Press.
    How are we to understand the intentionality of desire? According to the two classical views, desire is either a positive evaluation or a disposition to act. This essay examines these conceptions of desire and argues for a deontic alternative, namely the view that desiring is representing a state of affairs as what ought to be. Three lines of criticism of the classical pictures of desire are provided. The first concerns desire’s direction of fit, i.e. the intuition that the world should (...)
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  • Clause-Type, Force, and Normative Judgment in the Semantics of Imperatives.Nate Charlow - forthcoming - In Daniel Fogal Daniel Harris & Matt Moss (eds.), New Work on Speech Acts. Oxford University Press.
    I argue that imperatives express contents that are both cognitively and semantically related to, but nevertheless distinct from, modal propositions. Imperatives, on this analysis, semantically encode features of planning that are modally specified. Uttering an imperative amounts to tokening this feature in discourse, and thereby proffering it for adoption by the audience. This analysis deals smoothly with the problems afflicting Portner's Dynamic Pragmatic account and Kaufmann's Modal account. It also suggests an appealing reorientation of clause-type theorizing, in which the cognitive (...)
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  • Needing and Necessity.Guy Fletcher - 2018 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 170-192.
    Claims about needs are a ubiquitous feature of everyday practical discourse. It is therefore unsurprising that needs have long been a topic of interest in moral philosophy, applied ethics, and political philosophy. Philosophers have devoted much time and energy to developing theories of the nature of human needs and the like. -/- Philosophers working on needs are typically committed to the idea that there are different kinds of needs and that within the different kinds of needs is a privileged class (...)
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  • Decision-Theoretic Relativity in Deontic Modality.Nate Charlow - 2018 - Linguistics and Philosophy 41 (3):251-287.
    This paper explores the idea that a semantics for ‘ought’ should be neutral between different ways of deciding what an agent ought to do in a situation. While the idea is, I argue, well-motivated, taking it seriously leads to surprising, even paradoxical, problems for theorizing about the meaning of ‘ought’. This paper describes and defends one strategy—a form of Expressivism for the modal ‘ought’—for navigating these problems.
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  • Contrastive Semantics for Deontic Modals.Justin Snedegar - 2012 - In Martijn Blaauw (ed.), Contrastivism in Philosophy: New Perspectives. Routledge.
    This paper argues for contrastivism about the deontic modals, 'ought', 'must', and 'may'. A simple contrastivist semantics that predicts the desired entailment relations among these modals is offered.
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  • The Composite Nature of Epistemic Justification.Paul Silva Jr - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (1).
    According to many, to have epistemic justification to believe P is just for it to be epistemically permissible to believe P. Others think it is for believing P to be epistemically good. Yet others think it has to do with being epistemically blameless in believing P. All such views of justification encounter problems. Here, a new view of justification is proposed according to which justification is a kind of composite normative status. The result is a view of justification that offers (...)
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  • Forms of Luminosity.Hasen Khudairi - 2017
    This dissertation concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The dissertation demonstrates how phenomenal consciousness and gradational possible-worlds models in Bayesian perceptual psychology relate to epistemic modal space. The dissertation demonstrates, then, how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; deontic modality; logical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the (...)
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  • Two Ways to Want?Ethan Jerzak - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (2):65-98.
    I present unexplored and unaccounted for uses of 'wants'. I call them advisory uses, on which information inaccessible to the desirer herself helps determine what she wants. I show that extant theories by Stalnaker, Heim, and Levinson fail to predict these uses. They also fail to predict true indicative conditionals with 'wants' in the consequent. These problems are related: intuitively valid reasoning with modus ponens on the basis of the conditionals in question results in unembedded advisory uses. I consider two (...)
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  • One Ought Too Many.Stephen Finlay & Justin Snedegar - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):102-124.
    Some philosophers hold that „ought‟ is ambiguous between a sense expressing a propositional operator and a sense expressing a relation between an agent and an action. We defend the opposing view that „ought‟ always expresses a propositional operator against Mark Schroeder‟s recent objections that it cannot adequately accommodate an ambiguity in „ought‟ sentences between evaluative and deliberative readings, predicting readings of sentences that are not actually available. We show how adopting an independently well-motivated contrastivist semantics for „ought‟, according to which (...)
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  • Reasons and Practical Possibility.Simon Robertson - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-32.
    According to a common thesis about normative reasons for action, you have a reason to perform a given action only if you can act for that reason. This thesis has long had broad appeal and i...
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  • Impossible Obligations Are Not Necessarily Deliberatively Pointless.Christopher Jay - 2013 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 113 (3pt3):381-389.
    Many philosophers accept that ought implies can (OIC), but it is not obvious that we have a good argument for that principle. I consider one sort of argument for it, which seems to be a development of an Aristotelian idea about practical deliberation and which is endorsed by, amongst others, R. M. Hare and James Griffin. After briefly rehearsing some well-known objections to that sort of argument (which is based on the supposed pointlessness of impossible obligations), I present a further (...)
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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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  • Reasons and Oughts: An Explanation and Defence of Deontic Buck-Passing.Euan Hans Metz - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Reading
    This thesis is about what a normative reason is and how reasons relate to oughts. I argue that normative reasons are to be understood as relational properties of favouring or disfavouring. I then examine the question: What is the relation between reasons, so understood, and what we ought to do, believe, or feel? I argue that the relation is an explanatory one. We should explain what we ought to do in terms of reasons, and not the other way around. This (...)
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  • Is It Better to Love Better Things?Aaron Smuts - 2015 - In Tony Milligan, Christian Maurer & Kamila Pacovská (eds.), Love and Its Objects.
    It seems better to love virtue than vice, pleasure than pain, good than evil. Perhaps it's also better to love virtuous people than vicious people. But at the same time, it's repugnant to suggest that a mother should love her smarter, more athletic, better looking son than his dim, clumsy, ordinary brother. My task is to help sort out the conflicting intuitions about what we should love. In particular, I want to address a problem for the no-reasons view, the theory (...)
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  • Distinguishing Agent-Relativity From Agent-Neutrality.Matthew Hammerton - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):239-250.
    The agent-relative/agent-neutral distinction is one of the most important in contemporary moral theory. Yet, providing an adequate formal account of it has proven difficult. In this article I defend a new formal account of the distinction, one that avoids various problems faced by other accounts. My account is based on an influential account of the distinction developed by McNaughton and Rawling. I argue that their approach is on the right track but that it succumbs to two serious objections. I then (...)
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  • The Nature of Desire.Federico Lauria & Julien Deonna (eds.) - 2017 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Desires matter. What are desires? Many believe that desire is a motivational state: desiring is being disposed to act. This conception aligns with the functionalist approach to desire and the standard account of desire's role in explaining action. According to a second influential approach, however, desire is first and foremost an evaluation: desiring is representing something as good. After all, we seem to desire things under the guise of the good. Which understanding of desire is more accurate? Is the guise (...)
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  • Grading Modal Judgment.Nate Charlow - forthcoming - Mind.
    This paper proposes a new model of graded modal judgment. It begins by problematizing the phenomenon: given plausible constraints on the logic of epistemic modality, it is impossible to model graded attitudes toward modal claims as judgments of probability targeting epistemically modal propositions. This paper considers two alternative models, on which modal operators are non-proposition-forming: (1) Moss (2015), in which graded attitudes toward modal claims are represented as judgments of probability targeting a “proxy” proposition, belief in which would underwrite belief (...)
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  • Pleasurably Regarding the Pain of Fictional Others.Aaron Smuts - manuscript
    Is it ever bad to take pleasure in the suffering of fictional characters? I think so. I attempt to show when and why. I begin with two powerful objections to my view: (1) engaging with fiction is akin to morally unproblematic autonomous fantasy, and (2) since no one is harmed, it is morally unproblematic. I reply to the objections and defend a Moorean view on the issue: It is intrinsically bad to enjoy evil, actual (past, present, or future) and merely (...)
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  • La normativité des concepts évaluatifs.Christine Tappolet - 2011 - Philosophiques 38 (1):157-176.
    On admet en général qu’il y a deux sortes de concepts normatifs : les concepts évaluatifs, comme bon, et les concepts déontiques, comme devoir. La question que soulève cette distinction est celle de savoir comment il est possible d’affirmer que les concepts évaluatifs sont normatifs. En effet, comme les concepts déontiques semblent constituer le coeur du domaine normatif, plus le fossé entre les deux sortes de concepts est grand, moins il paraîtra plausible d’affirmer que les concepts évaluatifs sont normatifs. Après (...)
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  • Naturalizing Deontic Logic: Indeterminacy, Diagonalization, and Self‐Affirmation.Melissa Fusco - forthcoming - Philosophical Perspectives.
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  • Hohfeld on the Duties in Privileges and Claims.Daniel Simão Nascimento - 2018 - Filosofia Unisinos 19 (2).
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  • Two Nondescriptivist Views of Normative and Evaluative Statements.Matthew Chrisman - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (3-4):405-424.
    The dominant route to nondescriptivist views of normative and evaluative language is through the expressivist idea that normative terms have distinctive expressive roles in conveying our attitudes. This paper explores an alternative route based on two ideas. First, a core normative term ‘ought’ is a modal operator; and second, modal operators play a distinctive nonrepresentational role in generating meanings for the statements in which they figure. I argue that this provides for an attractive alternative to expressivist forms of nondescriptivism about (...)
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  • Epistemic Modality, Mind, and Mathematics.Hasen Khudairi - 2017 - Gutenberg.
    This book concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The book demonstrates how phenomenal consciousness and gradational possible-worlds models in Bayesian perceptual psychology relate to epistemic modal space. The book demonstrates, then, how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; deontic modality; logical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the (...)
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  • ‘Ought’ and Control.Matthew Chrisman - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):433-451.
    Ethical theorists often assume that the verb ?ought? means roughly ?has an obligation?; however, this assumption is belied by the diversity of ?flavours? of ought-sentences in English. A natural response is that ?ought? is ambiguous. However, this response is incompatible with the standard treatment of ?ought? by theoretical semanticists, who classify ?ought? as a member of the family of modal verbs, which are treated uniformly as operators. To many ethical theorists, however, this popular treatment in linguistics seems to elide an (...)
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  • A Millian Objection to Reasons as Evidence.Guy Fletcher - 2013 - Utilitas 25 (3):417-420.
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  • VI-BayesianExpressivism.Seth Yalcin - 2012 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 112 (2pt2):123-160.
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  • Rationalization and the Ross Paradox.Benj Hellie - 2016 - In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press. pp. 283--323.
    'Post this letter!' does not entail 'Post this letter or drink up my wine!' (the Ross Paradox) because one can be in a state with the content of the former without being in a state with the content of the latter; in turn, because the latter can rationalize drinking up my wine but the former cannot; in turn, because practical rationalization flows toward one's present situation, in contrast with the flow of theoretical rationalization from one's present situation. Formally, this is (...)
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  • Truth-Assessment Methodology and the Case Against the Relativist Case Against Contextualism About Deontic Modals.J. L. Dowell - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (3):325-357.
    Recent challenges to Kratzer’s canonical contextualist semantics for modal expressions are united by a shared methodological practice: Each requires the assessment of the truth or warrant of a sentence in a scenario. The default evidential status accorded these judgments is a constraining one: It is assumed that, to be plausible, a semantic hypothesis must vindicate the reported judgments. Fully assessing the extent to which these cases do generate data that puts pressure on the canonical semantics, then, requires an understanding of (...)
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  • Contractualism for Us As We Are.Nicholas Southwood - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    A difficult problem for contractualists is how to provide an interpretation of the contractual situation that is both subject to appropriately stringent constraints and yet also appropriately sensitive to certain features of us as we actually are. My suggestion is that we should embrace a model of contractualism that is structurally analogous to the “advice model” of the ideal observer theory famously proposed by Michael Smith (1994; 1995). An advice model of contractualism is appealing since it promises to deliver a (...)
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  • On Necessity and Comparison.Aynat Rubinstein - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (4):512-554.
    The ability to compare possibilities and designate some as ‘better’ than others is a fundamental aspect of our use of modals and propositional attitude verbs. This article aims to support a proposal by Sloman that certain modal expressions, in particular, ought, in fact have a more pronounced comparative backbone than others . The connection between ‘ought’ and ‘better’ is supported by linguistic data and a proposal is advanced for modeling ideals in a way that makes room for non-comparative, strong, priority-type (...)
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  • Deliberative Modality Under Epistemic Uncertainty.Fabrizio Cariani, Magdalena Kaufmann & Stefan Kaufmann - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (3):225-259.
    We discuss the semantic significance of a puzzle concerning ‘ought’ and conditionals recently discussed by Kolodny and MacFarlane. We argue that the puzzle is problematic for the standard Kratzer-style analysis of modality. In Kratzer’s semantics, modals are evaluated relative to a pair of conversational backgrounds. We show that there is no sensible way of assigning values to these conversational backgrounds so as to derive all of the intuitions in Kolodny and MacFarlane’s case. We show that the appropriate verdicts can be (...)
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  • Categorical Norms and Convention‐Relativism About Epistemic Discourse.Cameron Boult - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (1):85-99.
    Allan Hazlett has recently developed an alternative to the most popular form of anti-realism about epistemic normativity, epistemic expressivism. He calls it “convention-relativism about epistemic discourse”. The view deserves more attention. In this paper, I give it attention in the form of an objection. Specifically, my objection turns on a distinction between inescapable and categorical norms. While I agree with Hazlett that convention-relativism is consistent with inescapable epistemic norms, I argue that it is not consistent with categorical epistemic norms. I (...)
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  • Modality, Scale Structure, and Scalar Reasoning.Daniel Lassiter - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (4):461-490.
    Epistemic and deontic comparatives differ in how they interact with disjunction. I argue that this difference provides a compelling empirical argument against the semantics of Kratzer, which predicts that all modal comparatives should interact with disjunction in the same way. Interestingly, an identical distinction is found in the semantics of non-modal adjectives: additive adjectives like ‘heavy’ behave logically like epistemic comparatives, and intermediate adjectives like ‘hot’ behave like deontic comparatives. I characterize this distinction formally and argue that the divergence between (...)
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  • Flexible Contextualism About Deontic Modals: A Puzzle About Information-Sensitivity.J. L. Dowell - 2013 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (2-3):149-178.
    According to a recent challenge to Kratzer's canonical contextualist semantics for deontic modal expressions, no contextualist view can make sense of cases in which such a modal must be information-sensitive in some way. Here I show how Kratzer's semantics is compatible with readings of the targeted sentences that fit with the data. I then outline a general account of how contexts select parameter values for modal expressions and show, in terms of that account, how the needed, contextualist-friendly readings might plausibly (...)
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  • Instrumental Normativity and the Practicable Good: A Murdochian Constitutivist Account.Evgenia Mylonaki - 2018 - Manuscrito 41 (4):349-388.
    In this paper I present a neo-Anscombean account of instrumental normativity and argue against it. I turn to the writings of Iris Murdoch in order to develop an alternative Anscombean account of instrumental normativity.
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  • Moral Contextualism and the Problem of Triviality.Daan Evers - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (2):285-297.
    Moral contextualism is the view that claims like ‘A ought to X’ are implicitly relative to some (contextually variable) standard. This leads to a problem: what are fundamental moral claims like ‘You ought to maximize happiness’ relative to? If this claim is relative to a utilitarian standard, then its truth conditions are trivial: ‘Relative to utilitarianism, you ought to maximize happiness’. But it certainly doesn’t seem trivial that you ought to maximize happiness (utilitarianism is a highly controversial position). Some people (...)
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