Vive la Différence? Structural Diversity as a Challenge for Metanormative Theories

Ethics 131 (2):151-182 (2021)
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Abstract

Decision-making under normative uncertainty requires an agent to aggregate the assessments of options given by rival normative theories into a single assessment that tells her what to do in light of her uncertainty. But what if the assessments of rival theories differ not just in their content but in their structure -- e.g., some are merely ordinal while others are cardinal? This paper describes and evaluates three general approaches to this "problem of structural diversity": structural enrichment, structural depletion, and multi-stage aggregation. All three approaches have notable drawbacks, but I tentatively defend multi-stage aggregation as least bad of the three.

Author's Profile

Christian Tarsney
University of Texas at Austin

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