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Contrastive Reasons and Promotion

Ethics 125 (1):39-63, (2014)

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  1. Deliberation, Reasons, and Alternatives.Justin Snedegar - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):682-702.
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  • There Are No Reasons for Affective Attitudes.Barry Maguire - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):779-805.
    A dogma of contemporary ethical theory maintains that the nature of normative support for affective attitudes is the very same as the nature of normative support for actions. The prevailing view is that normative reasons provide the support across the board. I argue that the nature of normative support for affective attitudes is importantly different from the nature of normative support for actions. Actions are indeed supported by reasons. Reasons are gradable and contributory. The support relations for affective attitudes are (...)
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  • Epistemic Instrumentalism and the Reason to Believe in Accord with the Evidence.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2018 - Synthese 195 (9):3791-3809.
    Epistemic instrumentalists face a puzzle. In brief, the puzzle is that if the reason there is to believe in accord with the evidence depends, as the instrumentalist says it does, on agents’ idiosyncratic interests, then there is no reason to expect that this reason is universal. Here, I identify and explain two strategies instrumentalists have used to try and solve this puzzle. I then argue that we should find these strategies wanting. Faced with the failure of these strategies, I articulate (...)
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  • The Value-Based Theory of Reasons.Barry Maguire - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3.
    This paper develops the Value-Based Theory of Reasons in some detail. The central part of the paper introduces a number of theoretically puzzling features of normative reasons. These include weight, transmission, overlap, and the promiscuity of reasons. It is argued that the Value-Based Theory of Reasons elegantly accounts for these features. This paper is programmatic. Its goal is to put the promising but surprisingly overlooked Value-Based Theory of Reasons on the table in discussions of normative reasons, and to draw attention (...)
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  • Normative Source and Extensional Adequacy.Jeff Behrends - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 10 (3):1-26.
    Internalists about practical reasons maintain that all of an agent’s reasons for action derive their normative force via some relation in which they stand with that agent’s pro-attitudes, or the pro-attitudes that the agent would have in some idealized set of circumstances. One common complaint against internalism is that the view is extensionally inadequate – that it cannot render the correct verdicts about what reasons agents have in a range of important cases. In this paper, I examine that charge of (...)
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  • Promotion as Contrastive Increase in Expected Fit.Nathaniel Sharadin & Finnur Dellsén - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1263-1290.
    What is required for an action to promote the satisfaction of a desire? We reject extant answers and propose an alternative. Our account differs from competing answers in two ways: first, it is contrastive, in that actions promote the satisfaction of desires only as contrasted with other possible actions. Second, it employs a notion of expected fit between desire and world, defined as the weighted sum of the fit between the desire and the world in all possible outcomes, where each (...)
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  • Simple Probabilistic Promotion.Eden Lin - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (2):360-379.
    Many believe that normative reasons for action are necessarily connected with the promotion of certain states of affairs: on Humean views, for example, there is a reason for you to do something if and only if it would promote the object of one of your desires. But although promotion is widely invoked in discussions of reasons, its nature is a matter of controversy. I propose a simple account: to promote a state of affairs is to make it more likely to (...)
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  • Contrastivism About Reasons and Ought.Justin Snedegar - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (6):379-388.
    Contrastivism about some concept says that the concept is relativized to sets of alternatives. Relative to some alternatives, the concept may apply, but relative to others, it may not. This article explores contrastivism about the central normative concepts of reasons and ought. Contrastivism about reasons says that a consideration may be a reason for an action A rather than one alternative, B, but may not be a reason for A rather than some other alternative, C. Likewise, contrastivism about ought says (...)
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  • Reasons and Promotion.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2015 - Philosophical Issues 25 (1):98-122.
    A number of philosophers accept promotionalism, the view that whether there is a normative reason for an agent to perform an action or have an attitude depends on whether her doing so promotes a value, desire, interest, goal, or end. I show that promotionalism faces a prima facie problem when it comes to reasons for belief: it looks extensionally inadequate. I then articulate two general strategies promotionalists can used to solve this problem and argue that, even if one of these (...)
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  • Probabilistic Promotion Revisited.Jeff Behrends & Joshua DiPaolo - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1735-1754.
    Promotion is the relation between an act and a desire that obtains when the act advances or serves the desire. Under what conditions does an act promote a desire? Probabilistic accounts of promotion, the most prominent accounts, analyze promotion in terms of an increase in the probability of the desire’s satisfaction. In this paper, we clarify the promotion relation and explain why probabilistic accounts are attractive. Then we identify two questions probabilistic accounts must answer: the Baseline Question and the Interpretation (...)
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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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  • Negative Reason Existentials.Justin Snedegar - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):108-116.
    (Schroeder 2007) presents a puzzle about negative reason existentials—claims like ‘There's no reason to cry over spilled milk’. Some of these claims are intuitively true, but we also seem to be committed to the existence of the very reasons that are said not to exist. I argue that Schroeder's own pragmatic solution to this puzzle is unsatisfactory, and propose my own based on a contrastive account of reasons, according to which reasons are fundamentally reasons for one thing rather than another, (...)
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  • Prudence, Morality, and the Humean Theory of Reasons.Eden Lin - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (259):220-240.
    Humeans about normative reasons claim that there is a reason for you to perform a given action if and only if this would promote the satisfaction of one of your desires. Their view has traditionally been thought to have the revisionary implication that an agent can sometimes lack any reason to do what morality or prudence requires. Recently, however, Mark Schroeder has denied this. If he is right, then the Humean theory accords better with common sense than it has been (...)
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