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  1. The dual scale model of weighing reasons.Chris Tucker - 2021 - Noûs 56 (2):366-392.
    The metaphor of weighing reasons brings to mind a single (double-pan balance) scale. The reasons for φ go in one pan and the reasons for ~φ go in the other. The relative weights, as indicated by the relative heights of the two pans of the scale, determine the deontic status of φ. This model is simple and intuitive, but it cannot capture what it is to weigh reasons correctly. A reason pushes the φ pan down toward permissibility (has justifying weight) (...)
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  • Three Paradoxes of Supererogation.Daniel Muñoz - 2021 - Noûs 55 (3):699-716.
    Supererogatory acts—good deeds “beyond the call of duty”—are a part of moral common sense, but conceptually puzzling. I propose a unified solution to three of the most infamous puzzles: the classic Paradox of Supererogation (if it’s so good, why isn’t it just obligatory?), Horton’s All or Nothing Problem, and Kamm’s Intransitivity Paradox. I conclude that supererogation makes sense if, and only if, the grounds of rightness are multi-dimensional and comparative.
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  • Value Relations Revisited.Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2012 - Economics and Philosophy 28 (2):133-164.
    In Rabinowicz (2008), I considered how value relations can best be analysed in terms of fitting pro-attitudes. In the formal model of that paper, fitting pro-attitudes are represented by the class of permissible preference orderings on a domain of items that are being compared. As it turns out, this approach opens up for a multiplicity of different types of value relationships, along with the standard relations of ‘better’, ‘worse’, ‘equally as good as’ and ‘incomparable in value’. Unfortunately, the approach is (...)
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  • Ethics without principles.Jonathan Dancy - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    In this much-anticipated book, Jonathan Dancy offers the only available full-scale treatment of particularism in ethics, a view with which he has been associated for twenty years. Dancy now presents particularism as the view that the possibility of moral thought and judgement does not in any way depend on an adequate supply of principles. He grounds this claim on a form of reasons-holism, holding that what is a reason in one case need not be any reason in another, and maintaining (...)
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  • The possibility of parity.Ruth Chang - 2002 - Ethics 112 (4):659-688.
    This paper argues for the existence of a fourth positive generic value relation that can hold between two items beyond ‘better than’, ‘worse than’, and ‘equally good’: namely ‘on a par’.
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  • Hard Choices.Ruth Chang - 2017 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (1):1-21.
    What makes a choice hard? I discuss and criticize three common answers and then make a proposal of my own. Paradigmatic hard choices are not hard because of our ignorance, the incommensurability of values, or the incomparability of the alternatives. They are hard because the alternatives are on a par; they are comparable, but one is not better than the other, and yet nor are they equally good. So understood, hard choices open up a new way of thinking about what (...)
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  • Moral Obligation, Self-Interest and The Transitivity Problem.Alfred Archer - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (4):441-464.
    Is the relation ‘is a morally permissible alternative to’ transitive? The answer seems to be a straightforward yes. If Act B is a morally permissible alternative to Act A and Act C is a morally permissible alternative to B then how could C fail to be a morally permissible alternative to A? However, as both Dale Dorsey and Frances Kamm point out, there are cases where this transitivity appears problematic. My aim in this paper is to provide a solution to (...)
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  • weighing reasons.Garrett Cullity - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press.
    What is involved in weighing normative reasons against each other? One attractive answer offers us the following Simple Picture: a fact is a reason for action when it bears to an action the normative relation of counting in its favour; this relation comes in different strengths or weights; the weights of the reasons for and against an action can be summed; the reasons for performing the action are sufficient when no other action is more strongly supported, overall; the reasons are (...)
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  • Value relations.Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2008 - Theoria 74 (1):18-49.
    Abstract: The paper provides a general account of value relations. It takes its departure in a special type of value relation, parity, which according to Ruth Chang is a form of evaluative comparability that differs from the three standard forms of comparability: betterness, worseness and equal goodness. Recently, Joshua Gert has suggested that the notion of parity can be accounted for if value comparisons are interpreted as normative assessments of preference. While Gert's basic idea is attractive, the way he develops (...)
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  • Untying a Knot From the Inside Out: Reflections on the “Paradox” of Supererogation.Terry Horgan - 2010 - Social Philosophy and Policy 27 (2):29-63.
    In his 1958 seminal paper “Saints and Heroes”, J. O. Urmson argued that the then dominant tripartite deontic scheme of classifying actions as being exclusively either obligatory, or optional in the sense of being morally indifferent, or wrong, ought to be expanded to include the category of the supererogatory. Colloquially, this category includes actions that are “beyond the call of duty” (beyond what is obligatory) and hence actions that one has no duty or obligation to perform. But it is a (...)
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  • Contrastive Reasons.Justin Snedegar - 2017 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    Justin Snedegar develops and defends contrastivism about reasons. This is the view that normative reasons are fundamentally reasons for or against actions or attitudes only relative to sets of alternatives. Simply put, reasons are always reasons to do one thing rather than another, instead of simply being reasons to do something, full stop.
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  • Too far beyond the call of duty: moral rationalism and weighing reasons.Chris Tucker - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (6):2029-2052.
    The standard account of supererogation holds that Liv is not morally required to jump on a grenade, thereby sacrificing her life, to save the lives of five soldiers. Many proponents defend the standard account by appealing to moral rationalism about requirement. These same proponents hold that Bernie is morally permitted to jump on a grenade, thereby sacrificing his life, to spare someone a mild burn. I argue that this position is unstable, at least as moral rationalism is ordinarily defended. The (...)
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  • Reasons for and reasons against.Justin Snedegar - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (3):725-743.
    What an agent ought to do is determined by competition between reasons bearing on the options open to her. The popular metaphor of balancing or weighing reasons on a scale to represent this competition encourages a focus on competition between reasons for competing options. But what an agent ought to do also depends on the reasons against those options. The balancing metaphor does not provide an obvious way to represent reasons against. Partly as a result of this, there is a (...)
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  • Transitivity, Moral Latitude, and Supererogation.Douglas W. Portmore - 2017 - Utilitas 29 (3):286-298.
    On what I take to be the standard account of supererogation, an act is supererogatory if and only if it is morally optional and there is more moral reason to perform it than to perform some permissible alternative. And, on this account, an agent has more moral reason to perform one act than to perform another if and only if she morally ought to prefer how things would be if she were to perform the one to how things would be (...)
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  • Supererogation and Conditional Obligation.Daniel Muñoz & Theron Pummer - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (5):1429–1443.
    There are plenty of classic paradoxes about conditional obligations, like the duty to be gentle if one is to murder, and about “supererogatory” deeds beyond the call of duty. But little has been said about the intersection of these topics. We develop the first general account of conditional supererogation, with the power to solve familiar puzzles as well as several that we introduce. Our account, moreover, flows from two familiar ideas: that conditionals restrict quantification and that supererogation emerges from a (...)
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  • Moral Worth and Supererogation.Amy Massoud - 2016 - Ethics 126 (3):690-710.
    Morally supererogatory actions are traditionally conceived of as actions that are nonobligatory but distinctively morally worthy. Here I challenge the assumption that supererogatory actions are distinctively praiseworthy and offer an alternative definition of moral supererogation. This alternative definition complements, and is complemented by, a novel account of moral praiseworthiness, which I call the Two-Step view. My Two-Step view of moral worth, which I develop in some detail, accounts for currently underappreciated features of moral praiseworthiness.
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  • Supererogation and obligation.Frances Myrna Kamm - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (3):118-138.
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  • The limits of morality.Shelly Kagan - 1989 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Most people believe that there are limits to the sacrifices that morality can demand. Although it would often be meritorious, we are not, in fact, morally required to do all that we can to promote overall good. What's more, most people also believe that certain types of acts are simply forbidden, morally off limits, even when necessary for promoting the overall good. In this provocative analysis Kagan maintains that despite the intuitive appeal of these views, they cannot be adequately defended. (...)
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  • Value and parity.Joshua Gert - 2004 - Ethics 114 (3):492-510.
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  • Requiring and justifying: Two dimensions of normative strength. [REVIEW]Joshua Gert - 2003 - Erkenntnis 59 (1):5 - 36.
    Many contemporary accounts of normative reasons for action accord a single strength value to normative reasons. This paper first uses some examples to argue against such views by showing that they seem to commit us to intransitive or counterintuitive claims about the rough equivalence of the strengths of certain reasons. The paper then explains and defends an alternate account according to which normative reasons for action have two separable dimensions of strength: requiring strength, and justifying strength. Such an account explains (...)
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  • Parity, Preference and Puzzlement.Joshua Gert - 2015 - Theoria 81 (3):249-271.
    Ruth Chang has argued for the existence of a fourth positive value relation, distinct from betterness, worseness and equality, which she calls “parity.” In an earlier article I seemed to criticize Chang's suggestion by offering an interval model for the values of items that I claimed could accommodate all the phenomena characteristic of parity. Wlodek Rabinowicz, offering his own model of value relations, endorsed one central feature of my proposal: the need to distinguish permissible preferences from required ones. But he, (...)
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  • Normative Strength and the Balance of Reasons.Joshua Gert - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (4):533-562.
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  • Normative strength and the balance of reasons.Joshua Gert - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (4):533-562.
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  • The Limits of Moral Authority.Dale Dorsey - 2016 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press UK.
    Dale Dorsey considers one of the most fundamental questions in philosophical ethics: to what extent do the demands of morality have normative authority over us and our lives? Must we conform to moral requirements? Most who have addressed this question have treated the normative significance of morality as simply a fact to be explained. But Dorsey argues that this traditional assumption is misguided. According to Dorsey, not only are we not required to conform to moral demands, conforming to morality's demands (...)
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  • Weighing Reasons Against.Chris Tucker - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics.
    Ethicists increasingly reject the scale as a useful metaphor for weighing reasons. Yet they generally retain the metaphor of a reason’s weight. This combination is incoherent. The metaphor of weight entails a very specific scale-based model of weighing reasons, Dual Scale. Justin Snedegar worries that scale-based models of weighing reasons can’t properly weigh reasons against an option. I show that there are, in fact, two different reasons for/against distinctions, and I provide an account of the relationship between the various kinds (...)
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  • Morality, Mortality Volume Ii: Rights, Duties, and Status.Frances Myrna Kamm - 1996 - New York, US: Oup Usa.
    This volume continues the examination of issues of life and death which F.M. Kamm began in Morality, Mortality, Volume I. Kamm continues her development of a non-consequentialist ethical theory and its application to practical ethical problems. She looks at the distinction between killing and letting die, and between intending and foreseeing, and also at the concepts of rights, prerogatives, and supererogation. She shows that a sophisticated non-consequentialist theory can be modelled which copes convincingly with practical ethical issues, and throws considerable (...)
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  • Rethinking the Good: Moral Ideals and the Nature of Practical Reasoning.Larry S. Temkin - 2012 - , US: Oxford University Press.
    Temkin's book is a very original and deeply unsettling work of skeptical philosophy that mounts an important new challenge to contemporary ethics.
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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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  • Future generations: Further problems.Derek Parfit - 1982 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 11 (2):113-172.
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  • Morality, Mortality Vol. II: Rights, Duties, and Status.F. M. Kamm - 1998 - Mind 107 (426):492-498.
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