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Holly Smith
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
  1. Subjective Rightness.Holly M. Smith - 2010 - Social Philosophy and Policy 27 (2):64-110.
    Twentieth century philosophers introduced the distinction between “objective rightness” and “subjective rightness” to achieve two primary goals. The first goal is to reduce the paradoxical tension between our judgments of (i) what is best for an agent to do in light of the actual circumstances in which she acts and (ii) what is wisest for her to do in light of her mistaken or uncertain beliefs about her circumstances. The second goal is to provide moral guidance to an agent who (...)
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  2. Measuring the Consequences of Rules: Holly M. Smith.Holly M. Smith - 2010 - Utilitas 22 (4):413-433.
    Recently two distinct forms of rule-utilitarianism have been introduced that differ on how to measure the consequences of rules. Brad Hooker advocates fixed-rate rule-utilitarianism, while Michael Ridge advocates variable-rate rule-utilitarianism. I argue that both of these are inferior to a new proposal, optimum-rate rule-utilitarianism. According to optimum-rate rule-utilitarianism, an ideal code is the code whose optimum acceptance level is no lower than that of any alternative code. I then argue that all three forms of rule-utilitarianism fall prey to two fatal (...)
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  3. The "Prospective View" of Obligation.Holly M. Smith - 2010 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (1):1-9.
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  4. Using Moral Principles to Guide Decisions.Holly M. Smith - 2012 - Philosophical Issues 22 (1):369-386.
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  5. A Paradox of Promising.Holly M. Smith - 1997 - Philosophical Review 106 (2):153-196.
    For centuries it has been a mainstay of European and American moral thought that keeping promises—and the allied activity of upholding contracts—is one of the most important requirements of morality. On some historically powerful views the obligation to uphold promises or contracts not only regulates private relationships, but also provides the moral foundation for our duty to support and obey legitimate governments. Some theorists believe that the concept of keeping promises has gradually moved to center stage in European moral thought. (...)
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  6. The Moral Clout of Reasonable Beliefs.Holly M. Smith - 2010 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume I. Oxford University Press.
    Because we must often make decisions in light of imperfect information about our prospective actions, the standard principles of objective obligation must be supplemented with principles of subjective obligation (which evaluate actions in light of what the agent believes about their circumstances and consequences). The point of principles of subjective obligation is to guide agents in making decisions. But should these principles be stated in terms of what the agent actually believes or what it would be reasonable for her to (...)
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  7. Intercourse and Moral Responsibility for the Fetus.Holly M. Smith - 1983 - In William B. Bondesson, H. Tristram Englehardt, Stuart Spicker & Daniel H. Winship (eds.), Abortion and the Status of the Fetus. D. Reidel.
    in Abortion and the Status of the Fetus, Volume XIII of the series, “Philosophy of Medicine,” eds. William B. Bondeson, H. Tristram Englehardt, Stuart Spicker, and Daniel H. Winship (Dordrecht, Holland/Boston, Massachusetts: D. Reidel, 1983), pp. 229-245.
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  8. Two-Tier Moral Codes.Holly M. Smith - 1989 - Social Philosophy and Policy 7 (1):112.
    A moral code consists of principles that assign moral status to individual actions – principles that evaluate acts as right or wrong, prohibited or obligatory, permissible or supererogatory. Many theorists have held that such principles must serve two distinct functions. On the one hand, they serve a theoretical function, insofar as they specify the characteristics in virtue of which acts possess their moral status. On the other hand, they serve a practical function, insofar as they provide an action-guide: a standard (...)
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