Rational monism and rational pluralism

Philosophical Studies 178 (6):1769-1800 (2020)
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Consequentialists often assume rational monism: the thesis that options are always made rationally permissible by the maximization of the selfsame quantity. This essay argues that consequentialists should reject rational monism and instead accept rational pluralism: the thesis that, on different occasions, options are made rationally permissible by the maximization of different quantities. The essay then develops a systematic form of rational pluralism which, unlike its rivals, is capable of handling both the Newcomb problems that challenge evidential decision theory and the unstable problems that challenge causal decision theory

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Jack Spencer
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


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