Moral Uncertainty and Value Comparison

In Russ Shafer Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 13. pp. 161-183 (2018)
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Several philosophers have recently argued that decision-theoretic frameworks for rational choice under risk fail to provide prescriptions for choice in cases of moral uncertainty. They conclude that there are no rational norms that are “sensitive” to a decision-maker's moral uncertainty. But in this paper, I argue that one sometimes has a rational obligation to take one's moral uncertainty into account in the course of moral deliberation. I first provide positive motivation for the view that one's moral beliefs can affect what it's rational for one to choose. I then address the problem of value comparison, according to which one cannot determine the expected moral value of one's actions. I argue that we should not infer from the problem of value comparison that there are no rational norms governing choice under moral uncertainty.

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Amelia Hicks
Kansas State University


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