Converging on values

Analysis 59 (4):355–361 (1999)
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Abstract
In 'The Moral Problem', Michael Smith defends a conception of normative reasons that is nonrelative. Given his understanding of normative reasons, nonrelativity commits him to the convergence hypothesis: that, as a result of the process or correction of beliefs and rational deliberation, 'all' agents would converge on having the same set of desires. I develop several reasons for being pessimistic about the truth of this hypothesis. As a result, if normative reasons exist, we have a reason to be skeptical of either Smith's understanding of what normative reasons are or of his insistence that they are nonrelative.
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