Contrastive Reasons and Promotion

Ethics 125 (1):39-63, (2014)
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A promising but underexplored view about normative reasons is contrastivism, which holds that considerations are fundamentally reasons for things only relative to sets of alternatives. Contrastivism gains an advantage over non-contrastive theories by holding that reasons relative to different sets of alternatives can be independent of one another. But this feature also raises a serious problem: we need some way of constraining this independence. I develop a version of contrastivism that provides the needed constraints, and that is independently motivated by the widespread idea that reasons involve the promotion of various kinds of objectives.

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Justin Snedegar
University of St. Andrews


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