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Indeterminate Oughts

Ethics 127 (3):645-673 (2017)

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  1. Fallibility without Facts.Will Gamester - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8.
    If, as expressivists maintain, the function of normative thought and talk is not to represent or describe the world, then how can normative judgements be correct or incorrect? In particular, how can I make sense of my own normative fallibility, the possibility that my own normative judgements might be mistaken? In this paper, I construct and defend a substantive but non-representational theory of normative (in)correctness for expressivists. Inspired by Blackburn’s (1998: 318) proposal that I make sense of my fallibility in (...)
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  • Indeterminacy and collective harms.Christine Tiefensee - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (11):3307-3324.
    The ‘no-difference problem’ challenges us to explain in which way the occurrence of an aggregate effect gives us reason to act in a specific way, although our individual actions make no difference to the effect’s occurrence. When discussing this problem, philosophers usually distinguish between so-called ‘triggering cases’, where the aggregate effect in question is brought about upon reaching a precise threshold, and ‘non-triggering cases’, in which no such precise threshold exists. However, despite their relevant differences, it is widely assumed not (...)
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  • Moral Rightness Comes in Degrees.Martin Peterson - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (4):645-664.
    This article questions the traditional view that moral rightness and wrongness are discrete predicates with sharp boundaries. I contend that moral rightness and wrongness come in degrees: Some acts are somewhat right and somewhat wrong. My argument is based on the assumption that meaning tracks use. If an overwhelming majority of competent language users frequently say that some acts are a bit right and a bit wrong, this indicates that rightness and wrongness are gradable concepts. To support the empirical part (...)
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  • Objective consequentialism and the plurality of chances.Leszek Wroński - 2021 - Synthese 198 (12):12089-12105.
    I claim that objective consequentialism faces a problem stemming from the existence in some situations of a plurality of chances relevant to the outcomes of an agent’s acts. I suggest that this phenomenon bears structural resemblance to the well-known Reference Class problem. I outline a few ways in which one could attempt to deal with the issue, suggesting that it is the higher-level chance that should be employed by OC.
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  • Indeterminacy, Angst and Conflicting Values.Jrg Williams - 2016 - Ratio 29 (4):412-433.
    How should we make choices where the values we subscribe to give conflicting recommendations? I will be defending a reduction of decision making under conflict to decision making under indeterminacy, in the spirit of Broome. To defend this, I set out and endorse the basic features of decision making under conflict that Ruth Chang identifies. I show that we find exactly those features in cases of decision making under indeterminacy not involving conflicting values. Further, my theory of decision making under (...)
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  • Ethics and Uncertainty: The Guest Editor’s Introduction.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2017 - Diametros 53:1-5.
    Until very recently, normative theorizing in ethics was frequently conducted without even mentioning uncertainty. Just a few years ago, Sven Ove Hansson described this state of affairs with the slogan: “Ethics still lives in a Newtonian world.” In the new Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Probability, David McCarthy writes that “mainstream moral philosophy has not been much concerned with probability,” understanding probability as “the best-known tool for thinking about uncertainty.” This special predilection for certainty in ethics was surprising since most (...)
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  • Superhard Choices.Miguel F. Dos Santos - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (2):248-265.
    Sometimes, when comparing a pair of items, it appears that neither is better than the other, nor that they are equally good, relative to a certain value that they bear. Cases of this kind have come to be referred to as superhard comparisons. What grounds superhard comparisons? On the dominant views, held by Joseph Raz and Ruth Chang, they are grounded, at least partially, in the failure of the three classic value relations—‘better than’, ‘worse than’, and ‘equally good’. On an (...)
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  • Consequentializing agent‐centered restrictions: A Kantsequentialist approach.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    There is, on a given moral view, an agent-centered restriction against performing acts of a certain type if that view prohibits agents from performing an instance of that act-type even to prevent two or more others from each performing a morally comparable instance of that act-type. The fact that commonsense morality includes many such agent-centered restrictions has been seen by several philosophers as a decisive objection against consequentialism. Despite this, I argue that agent-centered restrictions are more plausibly accommodated within a (...)
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  • Logical pluralism, indeterminacy and the normativity of logic.Filippo Ferrari & Sebastiano Moruzzi - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (3-4):323-346.
    According to the form of logical pluralism elaborated by Beall and Restall there is more than one relation of logical consequence. Since they take the relation of logical consequence to reside at the very heart of a logical system, different relations of logical consequence yield different logics. In this paper, we are especially interested in understanding what are the consequences of endorsing Beall and Restall’s version of logical pluralism vis-à-vis the normative guidance that logic is taken to provide to reasoners. (...)
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  • Epistemic dilemmas and rational indeterminacy.Nick Leonard - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):573-596.
    This paper is about epistemic dilemmas, i.e., cases in which one is doomed to have a doxastic attitude that is rationally impermissible no matter what. My aim is to develop and defend a position according to which there can be genuine rational indeterminacy; that is, it can be indeterminate which principles of rationality one should satisfy and thus indeterminate which doxastic attitudes one is permitted or required to have. I am going to argue that this view can resolve epistemic dilemmas (...)
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  • Belief and rational indeterminacy.Nick Leonard - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13523-13542.
    This paper is about an anti-expertise paradox that arises because of self-referential sentences like: = I do not believe that is true. The first aim is to motivate, develop, and defend a novel view of epistemic rationality according to which there can be genuine rational indeterminacy, i.e., it can be indeterminate which doxastic states an agent is rationally permitted or required to have. The second aim is to show how this view can provide a solution to this paradox while also (...)
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  • Logical pluralism, indeterminacy and the normativity of logic.Filippo Ferrari & Sebastiano Moruzzi - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-24.
    According to the form of logical pluralism elaborated by Beall and Restall there is more than one relation of logical consequence. Since they take the relation of logical consequence to res...
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  • Materialism and the Moral Status of Animals.Jonathan Birch - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (4):795-815.
    Consciousness has an important role in ethics: when a being consciously experiences the frustration or satisfaction of its interests, those interests deserve higher moral priority than those of a behaviourally similar but non-conscious being. I consider the relationship between this ethical role and an a posteriori (or “type-B”) materialist solution to the mind-body problem. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that, if type-B materialism is correct, then the reference of the concept of phenomenal consciousness is radically indeterminate between a (...)
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  • Pick the Sugar.Seamus Bradley - manuscript
    This paper presents a decision problem called the holiday puzzle. The decision problem is one that involves incommensurable goods and sequences of choices. This puzzle points to a tension between three prima facie plausible, but jointly incompatible claims. I present a way out of the trilemma which demonstrates that it is possible for agents to have incomplete preferences and to be dynamically rational. The solution also suggests that the relationship between preference and rational permission is more subtle than standardly assumed.
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