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  1. The schizophrenia of modern ethical theories.Michael Stocker - 1976 - Journal of Philosophy 73 (14):453-466.
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  • Actualism Has Control Issues.Yishai Cohen & Travis Timmerman - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 10 (3):1-18.
    According to actualism, an agent ought to φ just in case what would happen if she were to φ is better than what would happen if she were to ~φ. We argue that actualism makes a morally irrelevant distinction between certain counterfactuals, given that an agent sometimes has the same kind of control over their truth-value. We then offer a substantive revision to actualism that avoids this morally irrelevant distinction by focusing on a certain kind of control that is available (...)
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  • De dicto desires and morality as fetish.Vanessa Carbonell - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (2):459-477.
    Abstract It would be puzzling if the morally best agents were not so good after all. Yet one prominent account of the morally best agents ascribes to them the exact motivational defect that has famously been called a “fetish.” The supposed defect is a desire to do the right thing, where this is read de dicto . If the morally best agents really are driven by this de dicto desire, and if this de dicto desire is really a fetish, then (...)
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  • Consequence and Contrast in Deontic Semantics.Fabrizio Cariani - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy 113 (8):396-416.
    Contrastivists view ought-sentences as expressing comparisons among alternatives. Deontic actualists believe that the value of each alternative in such a comparison is determined by what would actually happen if that alternative were to be the case. One of the arguments that motivates actualism is a challenge to the principle of agglomeration over conjunction—the principle according to which if you ought to run and you ought to jump, then you ought to run and jump. I argue that there is no way (...)
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  • Blameworthiness without wrongdoing.Justin A. Capes - 2012 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (3):417-437.
    In this article I argue that it is possible to be blameworthy for doing something that was not objectively morally wrong. If I am right, this would have implications for several debates at the intersection of metaphysics and moral philosophy. I also float a view about which actions can serve as legitimate bases for blame that allows for the possibility of blameworthiness without objective wrongdoing and also suggests an explanation for the appeal of the commonly held view that blameworthiness requires (...)
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  • Alternative actions and the spirit of consequentialism.Krister Bykvist - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 107 (1):45 - 68.
    The simple idea behind act-consequentialism isthat we ought to choose the action whoseoutcome is better than that of any alternativeaction. In a recent issue of this journal, ErikCarlson has argued that given a reasonableinterpretation of alternative actions thissimple idea cannot be upheld but that the newtheory he proposes nevertheless preserves theact-consequentialist spirit. My aim in thispaper is to show that Carlson is wrong on bothcounts. His theory, contrary to his ownintentions, is not an act-consequentialisttheory. By building on a theory formulated (...)
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  • Knowing Yourself—And Giving Up On Your Own Agency In The Process.Derek Baker - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (4):641-656.
    Are there cases in which agents ought to give up on satisfying an obligation, so that they can avoid a temptation which will lead them to freely commit an even more significant wrong? Actualists say yes. Possibilists say no. Both positions have absurd consequences. This paper argues that common-sense morality is committed to an inconsistent triad of principles. This inconsistency becomes acute when we consider the cases that motivate the possibilism–actualism debate. Thus, the absurd consequences of both solutions are unsurprising: (...)
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  • Moral Obligations: Actualist, Possibilist, or Hybridist?Travis Timmerman & Yishai Cohen - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):672-686.
    Do facts about what an agent would freely do in certain circumstances at least partly determine any of her moral obligations? Actualists answer ‘yes’, while possibilists answer ‘no’. We defend two novel hybrid accounts that are alternatives to actualism and possibilism: Dual Obligations Hybridism and Single Obligation Hybridism. By positing two moral ‘oughts’, each account retains the benefits of actualism and possibilism, yet is immune from the prima facie problems that face actualism and possibilism. We conclude by highlighting one substantive (...)
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  • Consequentialism Reconsidered.Erik Carlson - 1995 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    In Consequentialism Reconsidered, Carlson strives to find a plausible formulation of the structural part of consequentialism. Key notions are analyzed, such as outcomes, alternatives and performability. Carlson argues that consequentialism should be understood as a maximizing rather than a satisficing theory, and as temporally neutral rather than future oriented. He also shows that certain moral theories cannot be reformulated as consequentialist theories. The relevant alternatives for an agent in a situation are taken to comprise all actions that they can perform (...)
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  • Opting for the Best: Oughts and Options.Douglas W. Portmore - 2019 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    The book concerns what I take to be the least controversial normative principle concerning action: you ought to perform your best option—best, that is, in terms of whatever ultimately matters. The book sets aside the question of what ultimately matters so as to focus on more basic issues, such as: What are our options? Do I have the option of typing out the cure for cancer if that’s what I would in fact do if I had the right intentions at (...)
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  • Prospective Possibilism.Michael J. Zimmerman - 2017 - The Journal of Ethics 21 (2):117-150.
    There has been considerable debate regarding the relative merits of two theses about moral obligation known as actualism and possibilism. Both theses seek to give expression to the general idea that one ought to do the best one can. According to actualism, one’s obligations turn on what would happen if one chose some course of action, whereas, according to possibilism, they turn on what could happen if one chose some course of action. There are two strands to the debate: the (...)
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  • Prosaic possibilism.M. Vorobej - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 97 (2):131-136.
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  • Does scrupulous securitism stand-up to scrutiny? Two problems for moral securitism and how we might fix them.Travis Timmerman - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (6):1509-1528.
    A relatively new debate in ethics concerns the relationship between one's present obligations and how one would act in the future. One popular view is actualism, which holds that what an agent would do in the future affects her present obligations. Agent's future behavior is held fixed and the agent's present obligations are determined by what would be best to do now in light of how the agent would act in the future. Doug Portmore defends a new view he calls (...)
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  • Utilitarianism and past and future mistakes.Jordan Howard Sobel - 1976 - Noûs 10 (2):195-219.
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  • The Subjective Moral Duty to Inform Oneself before Acting.Holly M. Smith - 2014 - Ethics 125 (1):11-38.
    The requirement that moral theories be usable for making decisions runs afoul of the fact that decision makers often lack sufficient information about their options to derive any accurate prescriptions from the standard theories. Many theorists attempt to solve this problem by adopting subjective moral theories—ones that ground obligations on the agent’s beliefs about the features of her options, rather than on the options’ actual features. I argue that subjective deontological theories suffer a fatal flaw, since they cannot appropriately require (...)
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  • The moral problem.Michael Smith - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell.
    What is the Moral Problem? NORMATIVE ETHICS VS. META-ETHICS It is a common fact of everyday life that we appraise each others' behaviour and attitudes from ...
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  • Responsibility for attitudes: Activity and passivity in mental life.Angela M. Smith - 2005 - Ethics 115 (2):236-271.
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  • Moral judgement and moral motivation.Russ Shafer-Landau - 1998 - Philosophical Quarterly 48 (192):353-358.
    I criticize an important argument of Michael Smith, from his recent book The Moral Problem (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994). Smith's argument, if sound, would undermine one form of moral externalism 2013 that which insists that moral judgements only contingently motivate their authors. Smith claims that externalists must view good agents as always prompted by the motive of duty, and that possession of such a motive impugns the goodness of the agent. I argue (i) that externalists do not (ordinarily) need to assign (...)
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  • Skepticism about moral responsibility.Gideon Rosen - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):295–313.
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  • Culpability and Irresponsibility.Martin Montminy - 2018 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 12 (1):167-181.
    I defend the principle that a person is blameworthy for her action only if that action was morally wrong. But what should we say about an agent who does the right thing based on bad motives? I present three types of cases that have these features. In each, I argue, the agent is not culpable for her action; however, she violates the norm of moral responsibility, and thus acts in a morally irresponsible way. This analysis, I show, has several virtues. (...)
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  • Levels of obligation.Michael McKinsey - 1979 - Philosophical Studies 35 (4):385 - 395.
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  • Procrastinate Revisited.Frank Jackson - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (4):634-647.
    How is what an agent ought to do at time t related to what they ought to do over a period of time that includes t? I revisit an example that sheds light on this question, taking account of issues to do with the agent's intentions and the distinction between subjective and objective obligation.
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  • Oughts, options, and actualism.Frank Jackson & Robert Pargetter - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (2):233-255.
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  • Oughts and determinism: A response to Goldman.P. S. Greenspan - 1978 - Philosophical Review 87 (1):77-83.
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  • Dated rightness and moral imperfection.Holly S. Goldman - 1976 - Philosophical Review 85 (4):449-487.
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  • The truth about tracing.John Martin Fischer & Neal A. Tognazzini - 2009 - Noûs 43 (3):531-556.
    Control-based models of moral responsibility typically employ a notion of "tracing," according to which moral responsibility requires an exercise of control either immediately prior to the behavior in question or at some suitable point prior to the behavior. Responsibility, on this view, requires tracing back to control. But various philosophers, including Manuel Vargas and Angela Smith, have presented cases in which the plausibility of tracing is challenged. In this paper we discuss the examples and we argue that they do not (...)
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  • Review of Fred Feldman: Doing the Best We Can: An Essay in Informal Deontic Logic[REVIEW]Thomas L. Carson - 1987 - Ethics 98 (1):177-178.
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  • Doing the Best We Can: An Essay in Informal Deontic Logic.Fred Feldman - 1986 - D. Reidel Publishing Company.
    Several years ago I came across a marvelous little paper in which Hector-Neri Castaneda shows that standard versions of act utilitarian l ism are formally incoherent. I was intrigued by his argument. It had long seemed to me that I had a firm grasp on act utilitarianism. Indeed, it had often seemed to me that it was the clearest and most attractive of normative theories. Yet here was a simple and relatively uncontrover sial argument that showed, with only some trivial (...)
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  • Responsibility From the Margins.David Shoemaker - 2015 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
    David Shoemaker presents a new pluralistic theory of responsibility, based on the idea of quality of will. His approach is motivated by our ambivalence to real-life cases of marginal agency, such as those caused by clinical depression, dementia, scrupulosity, psychopathy, autism, intellectual disability, and poor formative circumstances. Our ambivalent responses suggest that such agents are responsible in some ways but not others. Shoemaker develops a theory to account for our ambivalence, via close examination of several categories of pancultural emotional responsibility (...)
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  • Commonsense Consequentialism: Wherein Morality Meets Rationality.Douglas W. Portmore - 2011 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press USA.
    Commonsense Consequentialism is a book about morality, rationality, and the interconnections between the two. In it, Douglas W. Portmore defends a version of consequentialism that both comports with our commonsense moral intuitions and shares with other consequentialist theories the same compelling teleological conception of practical reasons. Broadly construed, consequentialism is the view that an act's deontic status is determined by how its outcome ranks relative to those of the available alternatives on some evaluative ranking. Portmore argues that outcomes should be (...)
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  • The Concept of Moral Obligation.Michael J. Zimmerman - 1996 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
    The principal aim of this book is to develop and defend an analysis of the concept of moral obligation. The analysis is neutral regarding competing substantive theories of obligation, whether consequentialist or deontological in character. What it seeks to do is generate solutions to a range of philosophical problems concerning obligation and its application. Amongst these problems are deontic paradoxes, the supersession of obligation, conditional obligation, prima facie obligation, actualism and possibilism, dilemmas, supererogation, and cooperation. By virtue of its normative (...)
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  • Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza - 1998 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mark Ravizza.
    This book provides a comprehensive, systematic theory of moral responsibility. The authors explore the conditions under which individuals are morally responsible for actions, omissions, consequences, and emotions. The leading idea in the book is that moral responsibility is based on 'guidance control'. This control has two components: the mechanism that issues in the relevant behavior must be the agent's own mechanism, and it must be appropriately responsive to reasons. The book develops an account of both components. The authors go on (...)
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  • The Schizophrenia of Modern Ethical Theories.Michael Stocker - 1997 - In Roger Crisp & Michael Slote (eds.), Virtue Ethics. Oxford University Press.
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  • Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (197):543-545.
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  • Ignorance, Revision, and Common Sense.Randolph Clarke - 2017 - In Philip Robichaud & Jan Willem Wieland (eds.), Responsibility: The Epistemic Condition. Oxford, UK: pp. 233-51.
    Sometimes someone does something morally wrong in clear-eyed awareness that what she is doing is wrong. More commonly, a wrongdoer fails to see that her conduct is wrong. Call the latter behavior unwitting wrongful conduct. It is generally agreed that an agent can be blameworthy for such conduct, but there is considerable disagreement about how one’s blameworthiness in such cases is to be explained, or what conditions must be satisfied for the agent to be blameworthy for her conduct. Many theorists (...)
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  • Actualism, Possibilism, and Beyond.Jacob Ross - 2012 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics.
    How is what an agent ought to do related to what an agent ought to prefer that she does? More precisely, suppose we know what an agent’s preference ordering ought to be over the prospects of performing the various courses of action open to her. Can we infer from this information how she ought to act, and if so, how can we infer it? One view (which, for convenience, I will call ‘actualism’) is that an agent ought to  just (...)
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  • A Plea for Accuses.Michael J. Zimmerman - 1997 - American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (2):229 - 243.
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  • Doing the Best One Can.Holly S. Goldman - 1978 - In Alvin Goldman & Jaegwon Kim (eds.), Values and Morals. Reidel. pp. 185--214.
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