Reasons

Edited by Errol Lord (University of Pennsylvania)
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  1. The Weight of Reasons: A Framework for Ethics.Chris Tucker - forthcoming - New York: Oxford University Press.
    The book develops, defends, and applies an account of weighing reasons to resolve various issues in ethics. It tells you everything you ever wanted to know about weighing reasons and probably a lot of stuff you didn't want to know too. The excerpt provided here is the Table of Contents, the Introduction, and Chapter 1.
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  2. Commonsense Morality and Contact with Value.Adam Lovett & Stefan Riedener - 2024 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 1:1-21.
    There seem to be many kinds of moral duties. We should keep our promises; we should pay our debts of gratitude; we should compensate those we’ve wronged; we should avoid doing or intending harm; we should help those in need. These constitute, some worry, an unconnected heap of duties: the realm of commonsense morality is a disorganized mess. In this paper, we outline a strategy for unifying commonsense moral duties. We argue that they can be understood in terms of contact (...)
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  3. Fit-Related Reasons to Inquire.Genae Matthews - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Recent philosophical work on inquiry yields important results about when it is appropriate to inquire and to what extent norms on inquiry are compatible with other epistemic norms. However, philosophers have been remarkably silent on the matter of what questions we ought to take up in the first place. In this paper, I take up this question, and argue that moral considerations constitute fit-related, right-kind reasons to adopt interrogative attitudes towards, and so inquire about, particular questions. This is a conclusion (...)
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  4. 'Belief' and Belief.Eric Marcus - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    Our interest in understanding belief stems partly from our being creatures who think. However, the term ‘belief’ is used to refer to many states: from the fully conscious rational state that partly constitutes knowledge to the fanciful states of alarm clocks. Which of the many ‘belief’ states must a theory of belief be answerable to? This is the scope question. I begin my answer with a reply to a recent argument that belief is invariably weak, i.e., that the evidential standards (...)
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  5. The Balancing View of Ought.Thomas Schmidt - 2024 - Ethics 134 (2):246-267.
    I defend a novel way of working out the Balancing View of Ought, that is, the view that whether one ought to take some action depends on nothing but the balance of the reasons for the action and those against it or for its alternatives. I show that the Balancing View needs to be complemented by certain principles of reason transmission, at least one of which might seem rather surprising. The result is an attractive theoretical package that allows for compelling (...)
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  6. The balance and weight of reasons.Nicholas Makins - 2023 - Theoria 89 (5):592-606.
    The aim of this paper is to provide a detailed characterisation of some ways in which our preferences reflect our reasons. I will argue that practical reasons can be characterised along two dimensions that influence our preferences: their balance and their weight. This is analogous to a similar characterisation of the way in which probabilities reflect the balance and weight of evidence in epistemology. In this paper, I will illustrate the distinction between the balance and weight of reasons, and show (...)
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  7. Reasons, attenuators, and virtue: A novel account of pragmatic encroachment.Eva Schmidt - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy:1-22.
    In this paper, I explicate pragmatic encroachment by appealing to pragmatic considerations attenuating, or weakening, epistemic reasons to believe. I call this the ‘Attenuators View’. I will show that this proposal is better than spelling out pragmatic encroachment in terms of reasons against believing – what I call the ‘Reasons View’. While both views do equally well when it comes to providing a plausible mechanism of how pragmatic encroachment works, the Attenuators View does a better job distinguishing practical and epistemic (...)
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  8. Factivism Defended: A Reply to Howard.J. J. Cunningham - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
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  9. Suspension of Judgement: Fittingness, Reasons, and Permissivism.Michael Vollmer - forthcoming - Episteme:1-16.
    This paper defends three theses on the normativity of the suspension of judgment. First, even if beliefs have to fit the truth and disbelief the false, suspension can still have satisfiable fittingness conditions. Second, combining this view with specific theses on the link between fittingness and normative reasons in favour of attitudes commits one to the existence of reasons to suspend judgement, which are neither reasons to believe nor reasons to disbelieve. These independent reasons, in turn, generate a form of (...)
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  10. Admiration, Appreciation, and Aesthetic Worth.Daniel Whiting - 2023 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 101 (2):375-389.
    What is aesthetic appreciation? In this paper, I approach this question in an indirection fashion. First, I introduce the Kantian notion of moral worthy action and an influential analysis of it. Next, I generalise that analysis from the moral to the aesthetic domain, and from actions to affects. Aesthetic appreciation, I suggest, consists in an aesthetically worthy affective response. After unpacking the proposal, I show that it has non-trivial implications while cohering with a number of existing insights concerning the nature (...)
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  11. Review of Constructing Practical Reasons, by Andreas Müller. [REVIEW]Matthew Silverstein - 2022 - Mind (526):531-539.
  12. Kornblith and His Critics.Luis Oliveira & Joshua DiPaolo (eds.) - forthcoming - Wiley-Blackwell.
    Hilary Kornblith is one of the world’s leading epistemologists, a champion of an innovative philosophical research program that is at once traditional and revisionary. In viewing the study of knowledge as inseparable from the empirical study of the mind, Kornblith aligns himself closely with the approach of the traditional empiricists of the 17th and 18th centuries. Yet in taking contemporary empirical work seriously, Kornblith has developed views and arguments that shift the epistemological focus away from what is available first-personally _within_ (...)
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  13. Political Legitimacy as Grounded in the Wills of Citizens: A Reply to Peter.E. R. Prendergast - 2023 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-15.
    Fabienne Peter (2020) recently proposed a taxonomy of accounts of the meta-normative grounds of political legitimacy. In this article, I argue that there is an important distinction left out of that taxonomy that complicates the picture. This is the distinction between attitude-independent and attitude-dependent conceptions of normative truth. Through an examination of these conceptions of normative truth (and correlate interpretations of what counts as a normative reason) I argue that what Peter calls a fact-based conception of legitimacy may collapse into (...)
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  14. Rational Understanding: From Explanation to Knowledge.Belkoniene Miloud - 2023 - New York: Routledge.
    This book develops a novel account of the connections between justification, understanding, and knowledge. It lays the foundation for a more systematic and interconnected treatment of these central notions in epistemology. -/- The author’s key move is to show first that a specific conception of doxastic justification constitutes our best point of entry into questions pertaining to a subject’s ability to secure understanding of reality. Second, that the traditional order of analysis when it comes to the connection between understanding and (...)
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  15. Action.Juan S. Piñeros Glasscock & Sergio Tenenbaum - 2023 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  16. Reasons for action: making a difference to the security of outcomes.Mattias Gunnemyr & Caroline Torpe Touborg - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 180 (1):333-362.
    In this paper, we present a new account of teleological reasons, i.e. reasons to perform a particular action because of the outcomes it promotes. Our account gives the desired verdict in a number of difficult cases, including cases of overdetermination and non-threshold cases like Parfit’s famous _Drops of water._ The key to our account is to look more closely at the metaphysics of causation. According to Touborg (_The dual nature of causation_, 2018), it is a necessary condition for causation that (...)
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  17. Normative Primitivism and the Possibility of Practical Thought.Samuel David Steadman - 2022 - Dissertation, York University
    Reasons are essentially addressed to agents. Many contemporary efforts to illuminate this feature of reasons effectively reduce them to features of agents, e.g., to rationally-pruned desires, plans, or roles. Such reductive accounts neglect a second feature of reasons, namely, their capacity to transcend agential nature. They also neglect a feature of agents, namely, their orientation to normative entities as entities that transcend—and thus, that can guide and give shape to—agential nature. This dissertation offers a conception of the relation running from (...)
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  18. Wittgenstein and Beyond: Essays in Honour of Hans-Johann Glock.Christoph C. Pfisterer, Nicole Rathgeb & Eva Schmidt (eds.) - 2022 - New York: Routledge.
    This volume celebrates the work of Hans-Johann Glock, a philosopher renowned for both his exegesis of Wittgenstein and his many contributions to debates in contemporary philosophy. It brings together 16 new essays by up-and-coming and distinguished philosophers engaging with Glock’s work, and it concludes with a "Reflections and Replies" chapter in which Glock responds to his interlocutors. -/- Glock’s distinctive philosophical voice features a rare combination of a Wittgenstein-inspired approach with a willingness to break away from Wittgenstein to tackle problems (...)
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  19. Evidence, Reasons, and Knowledge in the Reasons-First Program.Paul Silva & Sven Bernecker - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-9.
    Mark Schroeder’s Reasons First is admirable in its scope and execution, deftly demonstrating the theoretical promise of extending the reasons-first approach from ethics to epistemology. In what follows we explore how (not) to account for the evidence-that relation within the reasons-first program owing to self-fulfilling and self-defeating beliefs, we explain how factive content views of evidence can be resilient in the face of Schroeder’s criticisms, and we explain how knowledge from falsehood threatens Schroeder’s view of knowledge. Along the way we (...)
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  20. Consistent Desires and Climate Change.Daniel Coren - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    Philosophers have described the human perspective on climate change as a perfect moral storm. I take a new angle on that storm: I argue that our relevant desires feature a particularly problematic case of seemingly consistent but genuinely inconsistent desires. We have, first, non-indexical desires such as a desire to (make the sacrifices necessary to) stop polluting our environment at some point. We have, second, indexical desires such as a desire not to (make the sacrifices necessary to) stop polluting our (...)
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  21. Consideratism and the Credence of Conflicting Concepts (2022).David Klier -
    Skepticism has had a problem for a long time: it seems self-defeating. If I can’t trust something, can I trust that I can’t trust it? Pyrrho thought that “No one knows anything - and even that’s not certain.” [1] Or at least, that was Pyrrho’s answer to the “self-defeat objection.” Whether this is convincing or not, it has been known that throughout philosophical history, having a skeptical bone in your body is a good thing. From Socrates saying “the only thing (...)
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  22. Value-First Accounts of Reasons and Fit.R. A. Rowland - forthcoming - In Fittingness. Oxford University Press.
    It is tempting to think that all of normativity, such as our reasons for action, what we ought to do, and the attitudes that it is fitting for us to have, derives from what is valuable. But value-first approaches to normativity have fallen out of favour as the virtues of reasons- and fittingness-first approaches to normativity have become clear. On these views, value is not explanatorily prior to reasons and fit; rather the value of things is understood in terms of (...)
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  23. Epistemic reasons for action: a puzzle for pragmatists.Stephanie Leary - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-22.
    Pluralist pragmatists claim that there are both practical and epistemic reasons for belief, but should they also claim that there are both kinds of reasons for action? I argue that the pluralist pragmatist faces a puzzle here. If she accepts that there are epistemic reasons for action, she must explain a striking asymmetry between action and belief: while epistemic reasons play a large role in determining which beliefs one all-things-considered ought to have, they don’t play much of a role in (...)
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  24. Function-Based Conceptual Engineering and the Authority Problem.Matthieu Queloz - 2022 - Mind 131 (524):1247-1278.
    In this paper, I identify a central problem for conceptual engineering: the problem of showing concept-users why they should recognise the authority of the concepts advocated by engineers. I argue that this authority problem cannot generally be solved by appealing to the increased precision, consistency, or other theoretical virtues of engineered concepts. Outside contexts in which we anyway already aim to realise theoretical virtues, solving the authority problem requires engineering to take a functional turn and attend to the functions of (...)
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  25. Normative Reasons: Between Reasoning and Explanation.Arturs Logins - 2022 - New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.
    Reasons matter greatly to us in both ordinary and theoretical contexts, being connected to two fundamental normative concerns: figuring out what we should do and what attitudes to have, and understanding the duties and responsibilities that apply to us. This book introduces and critiques most of the contemporary theories of normative reasons considerations that speak in favor of an action, belief, or emotion - to explore how they work. Artūrs Logins develops and defends a new theory: the Erotetic view of (...)
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  26. Fittingness first?: Reasons to withhold belief.Wooram Lee - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (12):3565-3581.
    Recent years have seen the rise of fittingness-first views, which take fittingness to be the most basic normative feature, in terms of which other normative features can be explained. This paper poses a serious difficulty for the fittingness-first approach by showing that existing fittingness-first accounts cannot plausibly accommodate an important class of reasons: reasons not to believe a proposition. There are two kinds of reasons not to believe a proposition: considerations that are counterevidence; and considerations that count against believing the (...)
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  27. A Coherent and Comprehensible Interpretation of Saul Smilansky’s Dualism.Sofia M. I. Jeppsson - 2015 - Filosofiska Notiser 2 (1):39-45.
    Saul Smilansky’s theory of free will and moral responsibility consists of two parts; dualism and illusionism. Dualism is the thesis that both compatibilism and hard determinism are partly true, and has puzzled many philosophers. I argue that Smilansky’s dualism can be given an unquestionably coherent and comprehensible interpretation if we reformulate it in terms of pro tanto reasons. Dualism so understood is the thesis that respect for persons gives us pro tanto reasons to blame wrongdoers, and also pro tanto reasons (...)
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  28. Practical reasons, theoretical reasons, and permissive and prohibitive balancing.John Brunero - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    Philosophers have often noted a contrast between practical and theoretical reasons when it comes to cases involving equally balanced reasons. When there are strong practical reasons for A-ing, and equally strong practical reasons for some incompatible option, B-ing, the agent is permitted to make an arbitrary choice between them, having sufficient reason to A and sufficient reason to B. But when there is strong evidence for P and equally strong evidence for ~ P, one isn’t permitted to simply believe one (...)
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  29. Getting Things Right: Fittingness, Value, and Reasons.Conor McHugh & Jonathan Way - 2022 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This book has two main aims. First, it develops and defends a constitutive account of normative reasons as premises of good reasoning. This account says, roughly, that to be a normative reason for a response (such as a belief or intention) is to be premise of good reasoning, from fitting responses, to that response. Second, building on the account of reasons, it develops and defends a fittingness-first account of the structure of the normative domain. This account says that there is (...)
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  30. All Reasons are Fundamentally for Attitudes.Conor McHugh & Jonathan Way - 2022 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 21 (2).
    As rational agents, we are governed by reasons. The fact that there’s beer at the pub might be a reason to go there and a reason to believe you’ll enjoy it. As this example illustrates, there are reasons for both action and for belief. There are also many other responses for which there seem to be reasons – for example, desire, regret, admiration, and blame. This diversity raises questions about how reasons for different responses relate to each other. Might certain (...)
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  31. Answerability without reasons.Lilian O'Brien - 2021 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. New York, NY, USA: pp. 32-53.
    It is widely accepted that we are answerable in a special way for our intentional actions. And it is also widely accepted that we are thus answerable because we perform intentional actions for reasons. The aim of this chapter is to argue against this ‘reasons’ view of such answerability. First, reasons are distinguished from practical standards. Then, it is argued that the best interpretation of the practices in which we treat agents as answerable is that they fundamentally concern practical standards (...)
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  32. Value and Idiosyncratic Fitting Attitudes.Conor McHugh & Jonathan Way - forthcoming - In Christopher Howard & Richard Rowland (eds.), Fittingness. Oxford University Press.
    Norm-attitude accounts of value say that for something to be valuable is for there to be norms that support valuing that thing. For example, according to fitting-attitude accounts, something is of value if it is fitting to value, and according to buck-passing accounts, something is of value if the reasons support valuing it. Norm-attitude accounts face the partiality problem: in cases of partiality, what it is fitting to value, and what the reasons support valuing, may not line up with what’s (...)
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  33. Sentimental Reasons.Edgar Phillips - 2021 - In Simon Cushing (ed.), New Philosophical Essays on Love and Loving. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 171–194.
    Much recent discussion of love concerns ‘the reasons for love’: whether we love for reasons and, if so, what sorts of things those reasons are. This chapter seeks to call into question some of the assumptions that have shaped this debate, in particular the assumption that love might be ‘responsive’ to reasons in something like the way that actions, beliefs, intentions and ordinary emotions are. I begin by drawing out some tensions in the existing literature on reasons for love, suggesting (...)
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  34. The fittingness of emotions.Hichem Naar - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13601-13619.
    We often assess emotions as appropriate or inappropriate depending on certain evaluative aspects of the world. Often using the term ‘fittingness’ as equivalent to ‘appropriateness’, many philosophers of emotion take fittingness assessments of emotions to be a broadly representational matter. On this sort of view, an emotion is fitting or appropriate just in case there is a kind of representational match between the emotion and the object, a matching analogous to truth for belief. This view provides an account of the (...)
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  35. Promises, Intentions, and Reasons for Action.Andrew Lichter - 2021 - Ethics 132 (1):218-231.
    Abraham Roth argues that to accept a promise is to intend the performance of the promised action. I argue that this proposal runs into trouble because it makes it hard to explain how promises provide reasons for the performance of the promised action. Then, I ask whether we might fill the gap by saying that a promisor becomes entitled to the reasons for which her promise is accepted. I argue that this fix would implausibly shrink the class of binding promises (...)
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  36. No Problem of Consistent Incompatible Desires: a Reply to Baumann.Daniel Coren - 2020 - Acta Analytica 36 (3):465-474.
    In a brief and deeply interesting 2017 Acta Analytica paper, Peter Baumann argues that there are cases of necessarily incompatible but mutually consistent desires, that this is a common problem, and that there is no solution in sight. I’ll argue that Baumann fails to note certain non-trivial assumptions that must be made for the possibility of consistent incompatible desires; if consistent incompatible desires do exist then they’re sometimes beneficial; and if they are sometimes involved with problematic outcomes then the mere (...)
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  37. Imperative Inference and Practical Rationality.Daniel W. Harris - 2021 - Philosophical Studies (4):1065-1090.
    Some arguments include imperative clauses. For example: ‘Buy me a drink; you can’t buy me that drink unless you go to the bar; so, go to the bar!’ How should we build a logic that predicts which of these arguments are good? Because imperatives aren’t truth apt and so don’t stand in relations of truth preservation, this technical question gives rise to a foundational one: What would be the subject matter of this logic? I argue that declaratives are used to (...)
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  38. How Am I Supposed to Feel?Andrew T. Forcehimes - 2021 - Philosophia 50 (2):533-542.
    In this essay, I raise a puzzle concerning rational emotions. The puzzle arises from the fact that a handful of very plausible claims seem to commit us to the idea that whether a subject ought to have a certain emotion at a given time in part depends on the fittingness of the intensity of the feelings it involves, and the fittingness of these feelings in part depends on the intensity of the feelings the subject has at that time. Yet this (...)
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  39. Können nichtmenschliche Tiere handeln?Geert Keil - 2021 - In Roland Kipke, Nele Röttger, Johanna Wagner & Almut Kristine von Wedelstaedt (eds.), ZusammenDenken. Berlin/Heidelberg/Wiesbaden: Springer VS. pp. 159-177.
    Ralf Stoecker hat argumentiert, dass allein Menschen im strengen Sinne handeln könnten, weil sie allein fähig seien, etwas aus Gründen zu tun und über diese Gründe Rechenschaft abzulegen. In einem weniger strengen Sinn könnten auch Tiere handeln. Ich werde in diesem Beitrag zunächst Stoeckers Begründung seiner zweigeteilten These rekapitulieren (1) und dann zwei Rückfragen dazu stellen: (a) Warum soll es gerade die Praxis des logon didonai sein, die Verhalten zu Handlungen im engen Sinne macht? (b) Warum soll es genau zwei (...)
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  40. The Epistemology and Science of Justified Reason.Verdie Michael Dreyer - 2021 - Philosophia 50 (2):503-532.
    A theory of reasoned knowledge is presented by developing and demonstrating the methodology of a novel skeptical critique designed to extend the epistemological practice of belief justification to an epistemological practice of reason justification. Analyses of the reasoning found in the theorizations of certain seminal philosophers and leading scientists will reveal how the absence of the epistemic justification of reason defaults to the use of an unjustified form of reason that runs the play of an unrecognized and unchecked dialectic between (...)
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  41. Do affective desires provide reasons for action?Ashley Shaw - 2020 - Ratio 34 (2):147-157.
    This paper evaluates the claim that some desires provide reasons in virtue of their connection with conscious affective experiences like feelings of attraction or aversion. I clarify the nature of affective desires and several distinct ways in which affective desires might provide reasons. Against accounts proposed by Ruth Chang, Declan Smithies and Jeremy Weiss, I motivate doubts that it is the phenomenology of affective experiences that explains their normative or rational significance. I outline an alternative approach that centralises the function (...)
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  42. Circumstance, answerability and luck.Lubomira V. Radoilska - 2021 - The Monist 104 (2):155-167.
    This paper identifies a distinctive kind of moral luck, deep circumstantial luck and then explores its effects on moral responsibility. A key feature of the phenomenon is that it is recurrent rather than one-off. It also affects agents across a wide range of situations making it difficult to detect. Deeply unlucky agents are subject to unfavourable moral assessments through no fault of their own both in specific cases and when they try to respond to such initial assessments. In this respect, (...)
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  43. In defense of exclusionary reasons.N. P. Adams - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):235-253.
    Exclusionary defeat is Joseph Raz’s proposal for understanding the more complex, layered structure of practical reasoning. Exclusionary reasons are widely appealed to in legal theory and consistently arise in many other areas of philosophy. They have also been subject to a variety of challenges. I propose a new account of exclusionary reasons based on their justificatory role, rejecting Raz’s motivational account and especially contrasting exclusion with undercutting defeat. I explain the appeal and coherence of exclusionary reasons by appeal to commonsense (...)
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  44. The Explanatory Merits of Reasons-First Epistemology.Eva Schmidt - 2020 - In Christoph Demmerling & Dirk Schröder (eds.), Concepts in Thought, Action, and Emotion: New Essays. New York: pp. 75-91.
    I present an explanatory argument for the reasons-first view: It is superior to knowledge-first views in particular in that it can both explain the specific epistemic role of perception and account for the shape and extent of epistemic justification.
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  45. Against the 'First' Views (formerly Not fittingness, not reasons, not value) [Chapter 5 of A New Theory of Pragmatic Reasons for Belief (Under Contract with OUP)].Andrew Reisner - manuscript
    This is chapter 5 of the book project _The true and the good: a new theory of theoretical reason_, in which I explore the claim that both alethic and pragmatic reasons for belief are basic, but that they share a pragmatic foundation in a pluralist theory of wellbeing in which being in a positive epistemic state is a non-derivative component of wellbeing. This chapter argues that all three of fittingness first, reasons first, and value first views are false. It does (...)
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  46. Emotion: More like Action than Perception.Hichem Naar - 2020 - Erkenntnis 87 (6):2715-2744.
    Although some still advance reductive accounts of emotions—according to which they fall under a more familiar type of mental state—contemporary philosophers tend to agree that emotions probably constitute their own kind of mental state. Agreeing with this claim, however, is compatible with attempting to find commonalities between emotions and better understood things. According to the advocates of the so-called ‘perceptual analogy’, thinking of emotion in terms of perception can fruitfully advance our understanding even though emotion may not be reducible to (...)
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  47. Desire and What It’s Rational to Do.Ashley Shaw - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (4):761-775.
    It is often taken for granted that our desires can contribute to what it is rational for us to do. This paper examines an account of desire—the ‘guise of the good’— that promises an explanation of this datum. I argue that extant guise-of-the-good accounts fail to provide an adequate explanation of how a class of desires—basic desires—contributes to practical rationality. I develop an alternative guise-of-the-good account on which basic desires attune us to our reasons for action in virtue of their (...)
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  48. Mark C. Murphy, God’s Own Ethics: Norms of Divine Agency and the Argument from Evil. [REVIEW]Nevin Climenhaga - 2020 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 17 (5):587-590.
  49. Are Desires Beliefs about Normative Reasons?Avery Archer - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 61 (3):236-251.
  50. Possessing reasons: why the awareness-first approach is better than the knowledge-first approach.Paul Silva - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2925-2947.
    [Significantly updated in Chapter 6 of Awareness and the Substructure of Knowledge] In order for a reason to justify an action or attitude it must be one that is possessed by an agent. Knowledge-centric views of possession ground our possession of reasons, at least partially, either in our knowledge of them or in our being in a position to know them. On virtually all accounts, knowing P is some kind of non-accidental true belief that P. This entails that knowing P (...)
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