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Should We Pass the Buck?

In Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen & Michael J. Zimmerman (eds.), Recent Work on Intrinsic Value. Springer. pp. 33--44 (2000)

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  1. Moral Reality: A Defence of Moral Realism.Caj Strandberg - 2004 - Lund University.
    The main aim of this thesis is to defend moral realism. In chapter 1, I argue that moral realism is best understood as the view that moral sentences have truth-value, there are moral properties that make some moral sentences true, and moral properties are not reducible to non- moral properties. Realism is contrasted with non-cognitivism, error-theory and reductionism, which, in brief, deny, and, respectively. In the introductory chapter, it is also argued that there are some prima facie reasons to assume (...)
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  • Goodness and Reasons: Accentuating the Negative.Roger Crisp - 2008 - Mind 117 (466):257-265.
    This paper concerns the relation between goodness, or value, and practical reasons, and in particular the so-called ‘buck-passing’ account (BPA) of that relation recently offered by T. M. Scanlon, according to which goodness is not reason-providing but merely the higher-order property of possessing lower-order properties that provide reasons to respond in certain ways. The paper begins by briefly describing BPA and the motivation for it, noting that Scanlon now accepts that the lower-order properties in question may be evaluative. He also (...)
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  • Brentano and the Buck-Passers.Sven Danielsson & Jonas Olson - 2007 - Mind 116 (463):511 - 522.
    According to T. M. Scanlon's 'buck-passing' analysis of value, x is good means that x has properties that provide reasons to take up positive attitudes vis-à-vis x. Some authors have claimed that this idea can be traced back to Franz Brentano, who said in 1889 that the judgement that x is good is the judgement that a positive attitude to x is correct ('richtig'). The most discussed problem in the recent literature on buckpassing is known as the 'wrong kind of (...)
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  • The Moral Status of Nature : Reasons to Care for the Natural World.Lars Samuelsson - 2008 - Dissertation,
    The subject-matter of this essay is the moral status of nature. This subject is dealt with in terms of normative reasons. The main question is if there are direct normative reasons to care for nature in addition to the numerous indirect normative reasons that there are for doing so. Roughly, if there is some such reason, and that reason applies to any moral agent, then nature has direct moral status as I use the phrase. I develop the notions of direct (...)
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  • The Guise of Reasons.Alex Gregory - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (1):63-72.
    In this paper it is argued that we should amend the traditional understanding of the view known as the guise of the good. The guise of the good is traditionally understood as the view that we only want to act in ways that we believe to be good in some way. But it is argued that a more plausible view is that we only want to act in ways that we believe we have normative reason to act in. This change (...)
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  • Moral Fetishism and a Third Desire for What’s Right.Nathan Howard - 2021 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 20 (3).
    A major point of debate about morally good motives concerns an ambiguity in the truism that good and strong-willed people desire to do what is right. This debate is shaped by the assumption that “what’s right” combines in only two ways with “desire,” leading to distinct de dicto and de re readings of the truism. However, a third reading of such expressions is possible, first identified by Janet Fodor, which has gone wholly unappreciated by philosophers in this debate. I identify (...)
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  • Value and Reasons to Favour.Jonathan Way - 2013 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 8.
    This paper defends a 'fitting attitudes' view of value on which what it is for something to be good is for there to be reasons to favour that thing. The first section of the paper defends a 'linking principle' connecting reasons and value. The second and third sections argue that this principle is better explained by a fitting-attitudes view than by 'value-first' views on which reasons are explained in terms of value.
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  • Are All Practical Reasons Based on Value?Benjamin Kiesewetter - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics.
    According to an attractive and widely held view, all practical reasons are explained in terms of the (instrumental or final) value of the action supported by the reason. I argue that this theory is incompatible with plausible assumptions about the practical reasons that correspond to certain moral rights, including the right to a promised action and the right to an exclusive use of one’s property. The argument is an explanatory rather than extensional one: while the actions supported by the relevant (...)
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  • Reasons to act, reasons to require, and the two-level theory of moral explanation.Jörg Löschke - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):169-185.
    Deontic buck-passing aims to analyse deontic properties of acts in terms of reasons. Many authors accept deontic buck-passing, but only few have discussed how to understand the relation between reasons and deontic properties exactly. Justin Snedegar has suggested understanding deontic properties of acts in terms of both reasons and reasons to require: A is required to φ iff A has most reason to φ, and there is most reason to require A to φ. This promising proposal faces two open questions: (...)
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  • The Motivation Question.Nicholas Southwood - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3413-3430.
    How does it happen that our beliefs about what we ought to do cause us to intend to do what we believe we ought to do? This is what John Broome calls the "motivation question." Broome’s answer to the motivation question is that we can bring ourselves, by our own efforts, to intend to do what we believe we ought to do by exercising a special agential capacity: the capacity to engage in what he calls enkratic reasoning. My aim is (...)
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  • G. E. Moore on Goodness and Reasons.Jonas Olson - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (4):525 – 534.
    Several proponents of the 'buck-passing' account of value have recently attributed to G. E. Moore the implausible view that goodness is reason-providing. I argue that this attribution is unjustified. In addition to its historical significance, the discussion has an important implication for the contemporary value-theoretical debate: the plausible observation that goodness is not reason-providing does not give decisive support to the buck-passing account over its Moorean rivals. The final section of the paper is a survey of what can be said (...)
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  • Fitting Attitude Theories of Value.Daniel Jacobsen - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • 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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  • Moral Judgment and Motivation.Xiao Zhang - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham
    In this thesis, I explore motivational internalism and externalism, which concern the relationship between moral judgments and motivation. I first introduce the basic terms and different forms of internalism and externalism, including the externalist objections to internalism based on the famous counterexamples. I then argue against externalism by defending and developing Michael Smith’s fetishism argument. I not only respond to the externalist objections to the fetishism argument but also further argue against different externalist explanations of moral motivation that intend to (...)
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  • Moral Blameworthiness and the Reactive Attitudes.Leonard Kahn - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (2):131-142.
    In this paper, I present and defend a novel version of the Reactive Attitude account of moral blameworthiness. In Section 1, I introduce the Reactive Attitude account and outline Allan Gibbard's version of it. In Section 2, I present the Wrong Kind of Reasons Problem, which has been at the heart of much recent discussion about the nature of value, and explain why a reformulation of it causes serious problems for versions of the Reactive Attitude account such as Gibbard's. In (...)
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  • Immorality and Irrationality.Alex Worsnip - 2019 - Philosophical Perspectives 33 (1):220-253.
    Does immorality necessarily involve irrationality? The question is often taken to be among the deepest in moral philosophy. But apparently deep questions sometimes admit of deflationary answers. In this case we can make way for a deflationary answer by appealing to dualism about rationality, according to which there are two fundamentally distinct notions of rationality: structural rationality and substantive rationality. I have defended dualism elsewhere. Here, I’ll argue that it allows us to embrace a sensible – I will not say (...)
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  • What’s Wrong with Moorean Buck-Passing?Francesco Orsi - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (3):727-746.
    In this paper I discuss and try to remove some major stumbling blocks for a Moorean buck-passing account of reasons in terms of value (MBP): There is a pro tanto reason to favour X if and only if X is intrinsically good, or X is instrumentally good, or favouring X is intrinsically good, or favouring X is instrumentally good. I suggest that MBP can embrace and explain the buck-passing intuition behind the far more popular buck-passing account of value, and has (...)
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  • Retributivism: The Right and the Good. [REVIEW]Adil Ahmad Haque - 2013 - Law and Philosophy 32 (1):59-82.
    Victor Tadros claims that punishment must be justified either instrumentally or on the grounds that deserved punishment is intrinisically good. However, if we have deontic reasons to punish wrongdoers then these reasons could justify punishment non-instrumentally. Morever, even if the punishment of wrongdoers is intrinsically good this fact cannot contribute to the justication of punishment because goodness is not a reason-giving property. It follows that retributivism is both true and important only if we have deontic reasons to punish. Tadros also (...)
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  • The Wrong Kind of Reasons.Nye Howard - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. New York: Routledge. pp. 340-354.
  • Metaethics After Moore.Terry Horgan & Mark Timmons (eds.) - 2006 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Metaethics, understood as a distinct branch of ethics, is often traced to G. E. Moore's 1903 classic, Principia Ethica. Whereas normative ethics is concerned to answer first order moral questions about what is good and bad, right and wrong, metaethics is concerned to answer second order non-moral questions about the semantics, metaphysics, and epistemology of moral thought and discourse. Moore has continued to exert a powerful influence, and the sixteen essays here represent the most up-to-date work in metaethics after, and (...)
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  • The Explanatory Objection to the Fitting Attitude Analysis of Value.Francesco Orsi & Andrés G. Garcia - 2020 - Philosophical Studies (4):1-15.
    The fitting attitude analysis of value states that for objects to have value is for them to be the fitting targets of attitudes. Good objects are the fitting targets of positive attitudes, while bad objects are the fitting targets of negative attitudes. The following paper presents an argument to the effect that value and the fittingness of attitudes differ in terms of their explanations. Whereas the fittingness of attitudes is explained, inter alia, by both the properties of attitudes and those (...)
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  • The explanatory objection to the fitting attitude analysis of value.Francesco Orsi & Andrés G. Garcia - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1207-1221.
    The fitting attitude analysis of value states that for objects to have value is for them to be the fitting targets of attitudes. Good objects are the fitting targets of positive attitudes, while bad objects are the fitting targets of negative attitudes. The following paper presents an argument to the effect that value and the fittingness of attitudes differ in terms of their explanations. Whereas the fittingness of attitudes is explained, inter alia, by both the properties of attitudes and those (...)
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  • How It All Relates : Exploring the Space of Value Comparisons.Henrik Andersson - 2017 - Dissertation, Lund University
    This thesis explores whether the three standard value relations, “better than”, “worse than” and “equally as good”, exhaust the possibilities in which things can relate with respect to their value. Or more precisely, whether there are examples in which one of these relations is not instantiated. There are cases in which it is not obvious that one of these relations does obtain; these are referred to as “hard cases of comparison”. These hard cases of comparison become interesting, since if it (...)
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  • Making Space for the Normativity of Coherence.Alex Worsnip - forthcoming - Noûs.
    This paper offers a new account of how structural rationality, or coherence, is normative. The central challenge to the normativity of coherence – which I term the problem of “making space” for the normativity of coherence – is this: if considerations of coherence matter normatively, it is not clear how we ought to take account of them in our deliberation. Coherence considerations don’t seem to show up in reasoning about what to believe, intend, desire, hope, fear, and so on; moreover, (...)
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  • Explaining Reasons: Where Does the Buck Stop?Ulrike Heuer - 2005 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 1 (3):1-25.
    The buck-passing account of values offers an explanation of the close relation of values and reasons for action: of why it is that the question whether something that is of value provides reasons is not ”open.” Being of value simply is, its defenders claim, a property that something has in virtue of its having other reason-providing properties. The generic idea of buck-passing is that the property of being good or being of value does not provide reasons. It is other properties (...)
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  • Comparing Values : Essays on Comparability, Transitivity, and Vagueness.Nicolas Espinoza - unknown
    The primary aim of this thesis is to examine some of the arguments that have been leveled against the idea that all value bearing entities are comparable. A secondary aim is to investigate some putative properties of the relation ‘better than', especially transitivity and vagueness. Also, some of the consequences of accepting incomparability are investigated, both with regards to other value theoretical issues, such as the implications for monadic value predicates, and with regards to more applied issues, such as the (...)
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  • Which Moral Properties Are Eligible for Perceptual Awareness?Preston J. Werner - 2020 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 17 (3):290-319.
    Moral perception has made something of a comeback in recent work on moral epistemology. Many traditional objections to the view have been argued to fail upon closer inspection. But it remains an open question just how far moral perception might extend. In this paper, I provide the beginnings of an answer to this question by assessing the relationship between the metaphysical structure of different normative properties and a plausible constraint on which properties are eligible for perceptual awareness which I call (...)
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  • Fitting-Attitude Analysis and the Logical Consequence Argument.Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (272):560-579.
    A fitting-attitude analysis which understands value in terms of reasons and pro- and con-attitudes allows limited wriggle room if it is to respect a radical division between good and good-for. Essentially, its proponents can either introduce two different normative notions, one relating to good and the other to good-for, or distinguish two kinds of attitude, one corresponding to the analysis of good and the other to good-for. It is argued that whereas the first option faces a counterintuitive scope issue, an (...)
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  • Agent-Relative Reasons as Second-Order Value Responses.Jörg Löschke - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):477-491.
    Agent-relative reasons are an important feature of any nonconsequentialist moral theory. Many authors think that they cannot be accommodated within a value-first theory that understands all value as agent-neutral. In this paper, I offer a novel explanation of agent-relative reasons that accommodates them fully within an agent-neutral value-first view. I argue that agent-relative reasons are to be understood in terms of second-order value responses: when an agent acts on an agent-relative reason, she responds appropriately to the agent-neutral value of her (...)
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  • Value, Fitting‐Attitude Account Of.Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell.
    According to an influential tradition in value analysis, to be valuable is to be a fitting object of a pro-attitude – a fitting object of favoring. If it is fitting to favor an object for its own sake, then, in this view, the object has final value. If it is fitting to favor an object for the sake of its effects, then its value is instrumental. Disvalue is connected in the analogous way to disfavoring, i.e., to con-attitudes. For a history (...)
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  • Reason-Based Value or Value-Based Reasons?Sven Nyholm - 2006 - In Björn Haglund & Helge Malmgren (eds.), Kvantifikator För En Dag. Essays Dedicated to Dag Westerståhl on His Sixtieth Birthday. Philosophical Communications. pp. 193-202.
    In this paper, I discuss practical reasons and value, assuming a coexistence thesis according to which reasons and value always go together. I start by doing some taxonomy, distinguishing among three different ways of accounting for the relation between practical reasons and the good. I argue that, of these views, the most plausible one is that according to which something’s being good just consists in how certain facts about the thing in question – other than that of how it is (...)
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  • The Buck-Passing Account of Value: Lessons From Crisp.S. Matthew Liao - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (3):421 - 432.
    T. M. Scanlon's buck-passing account of value (BPA) has been subjected to a barrage of criticisms. Recently, to be helpful to BPA, Roger Crisp has suggested that a number of these criticisms can be met if one makes some revisions to BPA. In this paper, I argue that if advocates of the buck-passing account accepted these revisions, they would effectively be giving up the buck-passing account as it is typically understood, that is, as an account concerned with the conceptual priority (...)
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  • The Normativity of Artefacts.Maarten Franssen - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):42-57.
    Part of the distinction between artefacts, objects made by humans for particular purposes, and natural objects is that artefacts are subject to normative judgements. A drill, say, can be a good drill or a poor drill, it can function well or correctly or it can malfunction. In this paper I investigate how such judgements fit into the domain of the normative in general and what the grounds for their normativity are. Taking as a starting point a general characterization of normativity (...)
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