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  1. Skill and Sensitivity to Reasons.Joshua Shepherd - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):669-681.
    In this paper I explore the relationship between skill and sensitivity to reasons for action. I want to know to what degree we can explain the fact that the skilled agent is very good at performing a cluster of actions within some domain in terms of the fact that the skilled agent has a refined sensitivity to the reasons for action common to the cluster. The picture is a little bit complex. While skill can be partially explained by sensitivity to (...)
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  • Explaining Normative Reasons.Daniel Fogal & Olle Risberg - forthcoming - Noûs.
    In this paper, we present and defend a natural yet novel analysis of normative reasons. According to what we call support-explanationism, for a fact to be a normative reason to φ is for it to explain why there’s normative support for φ-ing. We critically consider the two main rival forms of explanationism—ought-explanationism, on which reasons explain facts about ought, and good-explanationism, on which reasons explain facts about goodness—as well as the popular Reasons-First view, which takes the notion of a normative (...)
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  • The fundamental reason for reasons fundamentalism.Mark Schroeder - 2020 - 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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  • Ecumenical Epistemic Instrumentalism.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2613-2639.
    According to extant versions of epistemic instrumentalism, epistemic reasons are instrumental reasons. Epistemic instrumentalism is unpopular. I think it’s just misunderstood. Rather than saying epistemic reasons are instrumental reasons, epistemic instrumentalists should only say that if there is an epistemic reason, there is also an instrumental reason. This is the view I call ecumenical epistemic instrumentalism. In this paper, I first motivate, next sketch, and finally highlight the advantages of this version of epistemic instrumentalism.
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  • Are Epistemic Reasons Perspective-Dependent?Davide Fassio - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (12):3253-3283.
    This paper focuses on the relation between epistemic reasons and the subject’s epistemic perspective. It tackles the questions of whether epistemic reasons are dependent on the perspective of the subject they are reasons for, and if so, whether they are dependent on the actual or the potential perspective. It is argued that epistemic reasons are either independent or minimally dependent on the subject’s epistemic perspective. In particular, I provide three arguments supporting the conclusion that epistemic reasons are not dependent on (...)
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  • Is There an Epistemic Norm of Practical Reasoning?Davide Fassio - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (9):2137-2166.
    A recent view in contemporary epistemology holds that practical reasoning is governed by an epistemic norm. Evidence for the existence of this norm is provided by the ways in which we assess our actions and reasoning on the basis of whether certain epistemic conditions are satisfied. Philosophers disagree on what this norm is—whether it is knowledge, justified belief or something else. Nobody however challenges the claim that practical reasoning is governed by such a norm. I argue that assuming the existence (...)
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  • Reasoning and Normative Beliefs: Not Too Sophisticated.Andreas Müller - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (1):2-15.
    Does reasoning to a certain conclusion necessarily involve a normative belief in support of that conclusion? In many recent discussions of the nature of reasoning, such a normative belief condition is rejected. One main objection is that it requires too much conceptual sophistication and thereby excludes certain reasoners, such as small children. I argue that this objection is mistaken. Its advocates overestimate what is necessary for grasping the normative concepts required by the condition, while seriously underestimating the importance of such (...)
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  • Action and Rationalization.Samuel Asarnow - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy (TBA).
    According to the ‘standard story’ in the philosophy of action, actions are those movements of a creature’s body that are caused and rationalized by the creature’s mental states. The attractions of the causal condition have been widely discussed. The rationalization condition is nearly ubiquitous, but it is notoriously obscure, and its motivation has rarely been made explicit. This paper presents a new argument for including the rationalization condition in the causal theory of action, and sketches a broadly Davidsonian theory of (...)
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  • Epistemic Freedom Revisited.Gregory Antill - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):793-815.
    Philosophers have recently argued that self-fulfilling beliefs constitute an important counter-example to the widely accepted theses that we ought not and cannot believe at will. Cases of self-fulfilling belief are thought to constitute a special class where we enjoy the epistemic freedom to permissibly believe for pragmatic reasons, because whatever we choose to believe will end up true. In this paper, I argue that this view fails to distinguish between the aim of acquiring a true belief and the aim of (...)
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  • Pluralism About Practical Reasons and Reason Explanations.Eva Schmidt & Hans-Johann Glock - 2021 - Philosophical Explorations (2):1-18.
    This paper maintains that objectivism about practical reasons should be combined with pluralism both about the nature of practical reasons and about action explanations. We argue for an ‘expanding circle of practical reasons’, starting out from an open-minded monist objectivism. On this view, practical reasons are not limited to actual facts, but consist in states of affairs, possible facts that may or may not obtain. Going beyond such ‘that-ish’ reasons, we argue that goals are also bona fide practical reasons. This (...)
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  • The Basic Liberties: An Essay on Analytical Specification.Stephen K. McLeod & Attila Tanyi - forthcoming - European Journal of Political Theory.
    We characterize, more precisely than before, what Rawls calls the “analytical” method of drawing up a list of basic liberties. This method employs one or more general conditions that, under any just social order whatever, putative entitlements must meet for them to be among the basic liberties encompassed, within some just social order, by Rawls’s first principle of justice (i.e., the liberty principle). We argue that the general conditions that feature in Rawls’s own account of the analytical method, which employ (...)
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  • Introduction.Daniel Star - 2018 - In The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  • On Correctly Responding to All Decisive Reasons We Have.Davide Fassio - 2019 - Ratio 32 (1):63-73.
    Benjamin Kiesewetter has recently provided an argument to the effect that necessarily, if one has decisive reason to φ, then one has sufficient reason to believe that she herself has decisive reason to φ. If sound, this argument has important implications for several debates in contemporary normative philosophy. I argue that the main premise in the argument is problematic and should be rejected. According to this premise (PRR), necessarily, one can respond correctly to all the decisive reasons one has. I (...)
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  • Reasons and Guidance.Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting - 2016 - Analytic Philosophy 57 (3):214-235.
    Many philosophers accept a response constraint on normative reasons: that p is a reason for you to φ only if you are able to φ for the reason that p. This constraint offers a natural way to cash out the familiar and intuitive thought that reasons must be able to guide us, and has been put to work as a premise in a range of influential arguments in ethics and epistemology. However, the constraint requires interpretation and faces putative counter-examples due (...)
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  • Introducing a New Elusive Reason.Benjamin Cohen Rossi - 2021 - Ratio 34 (3):227-235.
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  • Wrongfulness rewarded?David O’Brien & Ben Schwan - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    In this paper, we raise and discuss a puzzle about the relationships among goods, reasons, and deontic status. Suppose you have it within your power to give someone something they would enjoy. The following claims seem platitudinous: you can use this power to reward whatever kind of option you want, thereby making that option better and generating a reason for that person to perform it; this reason is then weighed alongside and against the other reasons at play; and altogether, the (...)
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  • Realism and Constructivism in Kantian Metaethics 1 : Realism and Constructivism in a Kantian Context.Karl Schafer - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (10):690-701.
    Metaethical constructivism is one of the main movements within contemporary metaethics – especially among those with Kantian inclinations. But both the philosophical coherence and the Kantian pedigree of constructivism are hotly contested. In the first half of this article, I first explore the sense in which Kant's own views might be described as constructivist and then use the resulting understanding as a guide to how we might think about Kantian constructivism today. Along the way, I hope to suggest that a (...)
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  • Naturalizing the contributory.Philip Fox - forthcoming - Synthese:1-24.
    This paper has two aims. First, I critically discuss Daniel Whiting’s :2191–2208, 2018) recent proposal that a reason to ϕ is evidence of a respect in which it is right to ϕ. I raise two objections against this view: it is subject to a modified version of Eva Schmidt’s :708–718, 2018) counterexample against the influential account of reasons in terms of evidence and ‘ought’, and—setting aside judgments about specific cases—, it is also in an important sense uninformative. Interestingly, it turns (...)
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  • Is Evidence Normative?Frank Hofmann - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (2):1-18.
    This paper defends the view that in a certain sense evidence is normative. Neither a bit of evidence nor the fact that it is evidence for a certain proposition is a normative fact, but it is still the case that evidence provides normative reason for belief. An argument for the main thesis will be presented. It will rely on evidentialist norms of belief and a Broomean conception of normative reasons. Two important objections will be discussed, one from A. Steglich-Petersen on (...)
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  • Reasons and Defeasible Reasoning.John Brunero - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    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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  • 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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  • No Reasons to Believe the False.Javier González Prado - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):703-722.
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  • Deliberation, Reasons, and Alternatives.Justin Snedegar - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):682-702.
    A plausible constraint on normative reasons to act is that it must make sense to use them as premises in deliberation. I argue that a central sort of deliberation – what Bratman calls partial planning – is question-directed: it is over, and aims to resolve, deliberative questions. Whether it makes sense to use some consideration as a premise in deliberation in a case of partial planning can vary with the deliberative question at issue. I argue that the best explanation for (...)
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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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  • What is Reasoning?Conor McHugh & Jonathan Way - 2018 - Mind 127 (505):167-196.
    Reasoning is a certain kind of attitude-revision. What kind? The aim of this paper is to introduce and defend a new answer to this question, based on the idea that reasoning is a goodness-fixing kind. Our central claim is that reasoning is a functional kind: it has a constitutive point or aim that fixes the standards for good reasoning. We claim, further, that this aim is to get fitting attitudes. We start by considering recent accounts of reasoning due to Ralph (...)
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  • Fittingness First.Conor McHugh & Jonathan Way - 2016 - Ethics 126 (3):575-606.
    According to the fitting-attitudes account of value, for X to be good is for it to be fitting to value X. But what is it for an attitude to be fitting? A popular recent view is that it is for there to be sufficient reason for the attitude. In this paper we argue that proponents of the fitting-attitudes account should reject this view and instead take fittingness as basic. In this way they avoid the notorious ‘wrong kind of reason’ problem, (...)
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  • How to Argue with a Pragmatist.Artūrs Logins - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    According to recently popular pragmatist views it may be rational for one to believe p when one’s evidence doesn’t favour p over not-p. This may happen according to pragmatists in situations where one can gain something practically important out of believing p. In this paper I argue that given some independently plausible assumptions about the argumentative nature of philosophy and the irrelevance of bribes for good arguments, pragmatism leads to a contradiction.
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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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  • Can Reasons Be Propositions? Against Dancy's Attack on Propositionalism.Attila Tanyi & Morganti Matteo - 2017 - Theoria 83 (3):185-205.
    The topic of this article is the ontology of practical reasons. We draw a critical comparison between two views. According to the first, practical reasons are states of affairs; according to the second, they are propositions. We first isolate and spell out in detail certain objections to the second view that can be found only in embryonic form in the literature – in particular, in the work of Jonathan Dancy. Next, we sketch possible ways in which one might respond to (...)
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  • Is Evidence Normative?Frank Hofmann - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (2):667-684.
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  • Reasoning with Reasons.Daniel Star - forthcoming - In Conor McHugh, Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Normativity: Epistemic and Practical. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 241-59.
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  • Two Arguments for Evidentialism.Jonathan Way - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (265):805-818.
    Evidentialism is the thesis that all reasons to believe p are evidence for p. Pragmatists hold that pragmatic considerations – incentives for believing – can also be reasons to believe. Nishi Shah, Thomas Kelly and others have argued for evidentialism on the grounds that incentives for belief fail a ‘reasoning constraint’ on reasons: roughly, reasons must be considerations we can reason from, but we cannot reason from incentives to belief. In the first half of the paper, I show that this (...)
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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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  • The Epistemic Norm of Inference and Non-Epistemic Reasons for Belief.Patrick Bondy - 2019 - Synthese (2):1-21.
    There is an important disagreement in contemporary epistemology over the possibility of non-epistemic reasons for belief. Many epistemologists argue that non-epistemic reasons cannot be good or normative reasons for holding beliefs: non-epistemic reasons might be good reasons for a subject to bring herself to hold a belief, the argument goes, but they do not offer any normative support for the belief itself. Non-epistemic reasons, as they say, are just the wrong kind of reason for belief. Other epistemologists, however, argue that (...)
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  • Normative Metaphysics for Accountants.Barry Maguire & Justin Snedegar - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (2):363-384.
    We use normative reasons in a bewildering variety of different ways. And yet, as many recent theorists have shown, one can discern systematic distinctions underlying this complexity. This paper is a contribution to this project of constructive normative metaphysics. We aim to bring a black sheep back into the flock: the balancing model of weighing reasons. This model is threatened by a variety of cases in which distinct reasons overlap, in the sense that they do not contribute separate weight for (...)
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  • Can There Be Government House Reasons for Action?Hille Paakkunainen - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12 (1):56-93.
    I defend the relatively orthodox view that reasons for action are premises in good practical reasoning, against recent counterexamples that suggest that, like “government house” moral justifications, some reasons are to be ignored in deliberation. I also explain, positively, what is right about the orthodoxy. Unless reasons are premises in good practical reasoning, reasons cannot be normative in the way they are usually taken to be, and relatedly, are unfit to play certain familiar theoretical and related everyday roles that give (...)
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  • Revisiting the Argument From Action Guidance.Philip Fox - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 15 (3).
    According to objectivism about the practical 'ought', what one ought to do depends on all the facts; according to perspectivism, it depends only on epistemically available facts. This essay presents a new argument against objectivism. The first premise says that it is at least sometimes possible for a normative theory to correctly guide action. The second premise says that, if objectivism is true, this is never possible. From this it follows that objectivism is false. Perspectivism, however, turns out to be (...)
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  • Competing Reasons.Justin Snedegar - forthcoming - In Jessica Brown & Mona Simion (eds.), Reasons, Justification, and Defeat. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This chapter investigates different ways that pro tanto reasons bearing on our options can compete with one another in order to determine the overall normative status of those options. It argues for two key claims: (i) any theory of this competition must include a distinct role for reasons against, in addition to reasons for, and (ii) any theory must allow for comparative verdicts about how strongly supported the options are by the reasons, rather than simply which options are permissible or (...)
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  • Where Reasons and Reasoning Come Apart.Eva Schmidt - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Proponents of the reasoning view analyze normative reasons as premises of good reasoning and explain the normativity of reasons by appeal to their role as premises of good reasoning. The aim of this paper is to cast doubt on the reasoning view by providing counterexamples to the proposed analysis of reasons, counterexamples in which premises of good reasoning towards φ‐ing are not reasons to φ.
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  • Redundant Reasons.Daniel Wodak - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (2):266-278.
    It is commonly held that p is a reason for A to ϕ only if p explains why A ought to ϕ. I argue that this view must be rejected because there are reasons for A to ϕ that would be redundant in any ex...
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  • No Reasons to Believe the False.Javier González De Prado Salas - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):703-722.
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  • Reasons and Normativity.Jakob Green Werkmäster - 2019 - Dissertation, Lund University
    Normative reasons are of constant importance to us as agents trying to navigate through life. For this reason it is natural and vital to ask philosophical questions about reasons and the normative realm. This thesis explores various issues concerning reasons and normativity. The thesis consists of five free-standingpapers and an extended introduction. The aim of the extended introduction is not merely to situate the papers within a wider philosophical context but also to provide an overview of some of the central (...)
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  • Recent Work on Internal and External Reasons.John Brunero - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (2):99-118.
    This paper examines some recent arguments for internalism that (i) appeal to an analogy between practical and theoretical reasons, (ii) look toward our practices of reasoning with others, or (iii) tie reasons to good deliberation. The conclusion of this paper is a skeptical one: none of these new arguments gives us sufficient reason to think that internalism is true.
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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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  • What is Good Reasoning?Conor McHugh & Jonathan Way - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:153-174.
    What makes the difference between good and bad reasoning? In this paper we defend a novel account of good reasoning—both theoretical and practical—according to which it preserves fittingness or correctness: good reasoning is reasoning which is such as to take you from fitting attitudes to further fitting attitudes, other things equal. This account, we argue, is preferable to two others that feature in the recent literature. The first, which has been made prominent by John Broome, holds that the standards of (...)
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  • Engel on Doxastic Correctness.Conor McHugh - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1451-1462.
    In this paper I discuss Pascal Engel’s recent work on doxastic correctness. I raise worries about two elements of his view—the role played in it by the distinction between i -correctness and e -correctness, and the construal of doxastic correctness as an ideal of reason. I propose an alternative approach.
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  • Broome on Reasons to Act.Kieran Setiya - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (1):204-210.
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  • Being More Realistic About Reasons: On Rationality and Reasons Perspectivism.Clayton Littlejohn - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):605-627.
    This paper looks at whether it is possible to unify the requirements of rationality with the demands of normative reasons. It might seem impossible to do because one depends upon the agent’s perspective and the other upon features of the situation. Enter Reasons Perspectivism. Reasons perspectivists think they can show that rationality does consist in responding correctly to reasons by placing epistemic constraints on these reasons. They think that if normative reasons are subject to the right epistemic constraints, rational requirements (...)
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  • Moral Obligation, Self-Interest and The Transitivity Problem.Alfred Archer - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (4):441-464.
    Is the relation ‘is a morally permissible alternative to’ transitive? The answer seems to be a straightforward yes. If Act B is a morally permissible alternative to Act A and Act C is a morally permissible alternative to B then how could C fail to be a morally permissible alternative to A? However, as both Dale Dorsey and Frances Kamm point out, there are cases where this transitivity appears problematic. My aim in this paper is to provide a solution to (...)
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  • Fitting Belief.Conor McHugh - 2014 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 114 (2pt2):167-187.
    Beliefs can be correct or incorrect, and this standard of correctness is widely thought to be fundamental to epistemic normativity. But how should this standard be understood, and in what way is it so fundamental? I argue that we should resist understanding correctness for belief as either a prescriptive or an evaluative norm. Rather, we should understand it as an instance of the distinct normative category of fittingness for attitudes. This yields an attractive account of epistemic reasons.
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