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Jake Nebel
New York University
  1. Normative Reasons as Reasons Why We Ought.Jacob M. Nebel - forthcoming - Mind.
    I argue that a reason for someone to do something is just a reason why she ought to do it. This simple view has been thought incompatible with the existence of reasons to do things that we may refrain from doing or even ought not to do. For it is widely assumed that there are reasons why we ought to do something only if we ought to do it. I present several counterexamples to this principle and reject some ways of (...)
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  2. An Intrapersonal Addition Paradox.Jacob M. Nebel - manuscript
    I present a new problem for those of us who wish to avoid the repugnant conclusion. The problem is an intrapersonal, risky analogue of the mere addition paradox. The problem is important for three reasons. First, it highlights new conditions at least one of which must be rejected in order to avoid the repugnant conclusion. Some solutions to Parfit's original puzzle do not obviously generalize to our intrapersonal puzzle in a plausible way. Second, it raises new concerns about how to (...)
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  3. The Good, the Bad, and the Transitivity of Better Than.Jacob M. Nebel - forthcoming - Noûs.
    The Rachels–Temkin spectrum arguments against the transitivity of better than involve good or bad experiences, lives, or outcomes that vary along multiple dimensions—e.g., duration and intensity of pleasure or pain. This paper presents variations on these arguments involving combinations of good and bad experiences, which have even more radical implications than the violation of transitivity. These variations force opponents of transitivity to conclude that something good is worse than something that isn’t good, on pain of rejecting the good altogether. That (...)
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  4. Priority, Not Equality, for Possible People.Jacob M. Nebel - 2017 - Ethics 127 (4):896-911.
    How should we choose between uncertain prospects in which different possible people might exist at different levels of wellbeing? Alex Voorhoeve and Marc Fleurbaey offer an egalitarian answer to this question. I give some reasons to reject their answer and then sketch an alternative, which I call person-affecting prioritarianism.
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  5. Status Quo Bias, Rationality, and Conservatism About Value.Jacob M. Nebel - 2015 - Ethics 125 (2):449-476.
    Many economists and philosophers assume that status quo bias is necessarily irrational. I argue that, in some cases, status quo bias is fully rational. I discuss the rationality of status quo bias on both subjective and objective theories of the rationality of preferences. I argue that subjective theories cannot plausibly condemn this bias as irrational. I then discuss one kind of objective theory, which holds that a conservative bias toward existing things of value is rational. This account can fruitfully explain (...)
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