Reasons As Evidence Against Ought-Nots

Philosophical Papers 49 (3):431-455 (2021)
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Reasons evidentialism is the view that normative reasons can be analyzed in terms of evidence about oughts (i.e., propositions concerning whether or not S ought to phi). In this paper, I defend a new reason-evidentialist account according to which normative reasons are evidence against propositions of the form S ought not to phi. The arguments for my view have two strands. First of all, I argue that my view can account for three difficulty cases, cases where (i) a fact is both a reason for S to phi and a reason for S not to phi, (ii) a fact is both evidence for the proposition that S ought to phi and evidence for the proposition that S ought not to phi, and (iii) the subject is genuinely torn, as far as reasons are concerned, between phi-ing and not phi-ing. Second, I argue that my view can account for what a reason against S phi-ing is.
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