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Impartial Reason

Cornell University Press (1983)

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  1. What If Ideal Advice Conflicts? A Dilemma for Idealizing Accounts of Normative Practical Reasons.Eric Sampson - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (4):1091-1111.
    One of the deepest and longest-lasting debates in ethics concerns a version of the Euthyphro question: are choiceworthy things choiceworthy because agents have certain attitudes toward them or are they choiceworthy independent of any agents’ attitudes? Reasons internalists, such as Bernard Williams, Michael Smith, Mark Schroeder, Sharon Street, Kate Manne, Julia Markovits, and David Sobel answer in the first way. They think that all of an agent’s normative reasons for action are grounded in facts about that agent’s pro-attitudes (e.g., her (...)
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  • Counterfactuals as Strict Conditionals.Andrea Iacona - 2015 - Disputatio 7 (41):165-191.
    This paper defends the thesis that counterfactuals are strict conditionals. Its purpose is to show that there is a coherent view according to which counterfactuals are strict conditionals whose antecedent is stated elliptically. Section 1 introduces the view. Section 2 outlines a response to the main argument against the thesis that counterfactuals are strict conditionals. Section 3 compares the view with a proposal due to Aqvist, which may be regarded as its direct predecessor. Sections 4 and 5 explain how the (...)
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  • An Improved Whole Life Satisfaction Theory of Happiness.Jussi Suikkanen - 2011 - International Journal of Wellbeing 1 (1):149-166.
    According to the popular Whole Life Satisfaction theories of happiness, an agent is happy when she judges that her life fulfils her ideal life-plan. Fred Feldman has recently argued that such views cannot accommodate the happiness of spontaneous or pre-occupied agents who do not consider how well their lives are going. In this paper, I formulate a new Whole Life Satisfaction theory which can deal with this problem. My proposal is inspired by Michael Smith’s advice-model of desirability. According to it, (...)
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  • Too many cooks.Alex Horne - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-22.
    The existing literature on the rational underdetermination problem often construes it as one resulting from the ubiquity of objective values. It is therefore sometimes argued that subjectivists need not be troubled by the underdetermination problem. But on closer examination, it turns out, they should. Or so I will argue. The task of the first half of this paper is explaining why. The task of the second half is finding a subjectivist solution the rational underdetermination problem. The basic problem, I argue, (...)
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  • Motivation in Agents.Christian Miller - 2008 - Noûs 42 (2):222–266.
    The Humean theory of motivation remains the default position in much of the contemporary literature in meta-ethics, moral psychology, and action theory. Yet despite its widespread support, the theory is implausible as a view about what motivates agents to act. More specifically, my reasons for dissatisfaction with the Humean theory stem from its incompatibility with what I take to be a compelling model of the role of motivating reasons in first-person practical deliberation and third-person action explanations. So after first introducing (...)
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  • Against Internalism.Kieran Setiya - 2004 - Noûs 38 (2):266–298.
    Argues that practical irrationality is akin to moral culpability: it is defective practical thought which one could legitimately have been expected to avoid. It is thus a mistake to draw too tight a connection between failure to be moved by reasons and practical irrationality (as in a certain kind of "internalism"): one's failure may be genuine, but not culpable, and therefore not irrational.
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  • Instrumental Rationality.John Brunero & Niko Kolodny - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • What You’Re Rationally Required to Do and What You Ought to Do.Errol Lord - 2017 - Mind 126 (504):1109-1154.
    It is a truism that we ought to be rational. Despite this, it has become popular to think that it is not the case that we ought to be rational. In this paper I argue for a view about rationality—the view that what one is rationally required to do is determined by the normative reasons one possesses—by showing that it can vindicate that one ought to be rational. I do this by showing that it is independently very plausible that what (...)
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  • 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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  • Meta‐Normative Realism, Evolution, and Our Reasons to Survive.Jeff Behrends - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (4):486-502.
    In this article, I articulate and respond to an epistemological challenge to meta-normative realism. The challenge has it that, if realism about the normative is correct, and if evolutionary forces have significantly influenced our normative judgments, then it would be a remarkable coincidence if the content of the normative facts and our normative judgments were aligned. I criticize David Enoch's recent attempt to meet this challenge, but provide an alternative response that is structurally similar. I argue that if realism is (...)
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  • Years of Moral Epistemology: A Bibliography.Laura Donohue & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 1991 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 29 (S1):217-229.
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  • Moral Cognitivism Vs. Non-Cognitivism.Mark van Roojen - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2013 (1):1-88.
    Non-cognitivism is a variety of irrealism about ethics with a number of influential variants. Non-cognitivists agree with error theorists that there are no moral properties or moral facts. But rather than thinking that this makes moral statements false, noncognitivists claim that moral statements are not in the business of predicating properties or making statements which could be true or false in any substantial sense. Roughly put, noncognitivists think that moral statements have no truth conditions. Furthermore, according to non-cognitivists, when people (...)
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  • Moral Motivation.Connie S. Rosati - 2006 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    In our everyday lives, we confront a host of moral issues. Once we have deliberated and formed judgments about what is right or wrong, good or bad, these judgments tend to have a marked hold on us. Although in the end, we do not always behave as we think we ought, our moral judgments typically motivate us, at least to some degree, to act in accordance with them. When philosophers talk about moral motivation, this is the basic phenomenon they seek (...)
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  • The Meaning of Life (Second Revised Edition).Thaddeus Metz - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A 10,000+ word critical overview of analytic philosophy devoted to life's meaning, with some focus on books and more recent works.
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  • Reasons for Action: Internal Vs. External.Stephen Finlay & Mark Schroeder - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Often, when there is a reason for you to do something, it is the kind of thing to motivate you to do it. For example, if Max and Caroline are deciding whether to go to the Alcove for dinner, Caroline might mention as a reason in favor, the fact that the Alcove serves onion rings the size of doughnuts, and Max might mention as a reason against, the fact that it is so difficult to get parking there this time of (...)
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  • Ought, Agents, and Actions.Mark Schroeder - 2011 - Philosophical Review 120 (1):1-41.
    According to a naïve view sometimes apparent in the writings of moral philosophers, ‘ought’ often expresses a relation between agents and actions – the relation that obtains between an agent and an action when that action is what that agent ought to do. It is not part of this naïve view that ‘ought’ always expresses this relation – on the contrary, adherents of the naïve view are happy to allow that ‘ought’ also has an epistemic sense, on which it means, (...)
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  • A Fault Line in Ethical Theory.Shyam Nair - 2014 - Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):173-200.
    A traditional picture is that cases of deontic constraints--- cases where an act is wrong (or one that there is most reason to not do) even though performing that act will prevent more acts of the same morally (or practically) relevant type from being performed---form a kind of fault line in ethical theory separating (agent-neutral) consequentialist theories from other ethical theories. But certain results in the recent literature, such as those due to Graham Oddie and Peter Milne in "Act and (...)
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  • Moral Perception and Particularity.Lawrence A. Blum - 1994 - Cambridge University Press.
    Most contemporary moral philosophy is concerned with issues of rationality, universality, impartiality, and principle. By contrast Laurence Blum is concerned with the psychology of moral agency. The essays in this collection examine the moral import of emotion, motivation, judgment, perception, and group identifications, and explore how all these psychic capacities contribute to a morally good life. Blum takes up the challenge of Iris Murdoch to articulate a vision of moral excellence that provides a worthy aspiration for human beings. Drawing on (...)
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  • The Ethic of Love by Iris Murdoch.Daniela Alegría - 2019 - Eidos: Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad Del Norte 31:64-90.
    RESUMEN La filósofa irlandesa Iris Murdoch propone una teoría moral basada en el amor. Esta "ética del amor" se constituye a partir de la atención amorosa y la imaginación. De acuerdo con Murdoch, teorías morales como la kantiana presentan importantes problemas al considerar la moralidad como un asunto de "algoritmos morales". Las éticas dominantes desde la modernidad hasta nuestros días se han centrado en la universalidad, la imparcialidad, los principios morales, etcétera. Murdoch apunta a que la moralidad tiene que ver, (...)
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  • Artifactual Normativity.Christopher Frugé - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-19.
    A central tension shaping metaethical inquiry is that normativity appears to be subjective yet real, where it’s difficult to reconcile these aspects. On the one hand, normativity pertains to our actions and attitudes. On the other, normativity appears to be real in a way that precludes it from being a mere figment of those actions and attitudes. In this paper, I argue that normativity is indeed both subjective and real. I do so by way of treating it as a special (...)
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  • Motivation to the Means.Stephen Finlay - 2008 - In David Chan (ed.), Moral Psychology Today: Values, Rational Choice, and the Will. pp. 173-191.
    Rationalists including Nagel and Korsgaard argue that motivation to the means to our desired ends cannot be explained by appeal to the desire for the end. They claim that a satisfactory explanation of this motivational connection must appeal to a faculty of practical reason motivated in response to desire-independent norms of reason. This paper builds on ideas in the work of Hume and Donald Davidson to demonstrate how the desire for the end is sufficient for explaining motivation to the means. (...)
     
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  • What Motive to Virtue? Early Modern Empirical Naturalist Theories of Moral Obligation.Brady John Hoback - unknown
    In this dissertation, I argue for a set of interpretations regarding the relationship between moral obligation and reasons for acting in the theories of Hobbes, Hutcheson, and Hume. Several commentators have noted affinities between these naturalist moral theories and contemporary ethical internalism. I argue that attempts to locate internalist theses in these figures are not entirely successful in any clear way. I follow Stephen Darwall's suggestion that addressing the question “why be moral?” is one of the fundamental problems of modern (...)
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  • Because I Believe It’s the Right Thing to Do.Joshua May - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (4):791-808.
    Our beliefs about which actions we ought to perform clearly have an effect on what we do. But so-called “Humean” theories—holding that all motivation has its source in desire—insist on connecting such beliefs with an antecedent motive. Rationalists, on the other hand, allow normative beliefs a more independent role. I argue in favor of the rationalist view in two stages. First, I show that the Humean theory rules out some of the ways we ordinarily explain actions. This shifts the burden (...)
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  • Non-Consequentialism Demystified.Howard Nye, David Plunkett & John Ku - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15 (4):1-28.
    Morality seems important, in the sense that there are practical reasons — at least for most of us, most of the time — to be moral. A central theoretical motivation for consequentialism is that it appears clear that there are practical reasons to promote good outcomes, but mysterious why we should care about non-consequentialist moral considerations or how they could be genuine reasons to act. In this paper we argue that this theoretical motivation is mistaken, and that because many arguments (...)
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  • Preferentism and Self‐Sacrifice.Chris Heathwood - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1):18-38.
    According to the argument from self-sacrifice, standard, unrestricted desire-based theories of welfare fail because they have the absurd implication that self-sacrifice is conceptually impossible. I attempt to show that, in fact, the simplest imaginable, completely unrestricted desire-based theory of well-being is perfectly compatible with the phenomenon of self-sacrifice – so long as the theory takes the right form. I go on to consider a new argument from self-sacrifice against this simple theory, which, I argue, also fails. I conclude that, contrary (...)
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  • How is Moral Disagreement a Problem for Realism?David Enoch - 2009 - The Journal of Ethics 13 (1):15-50.
    Moral disagreement is widely held to pose a threat for metaethical realism and objectivity. In this paper I attempt to understand how it is that moral disagreement is supposed to present a problem for metaethical realism. I do this by going through several distinct (though often related) arguments from disagreement, carefully distinguishing between them, and critically evaluating their merits. My conclusions are rather skeptical: Some of the arguments I discuss fail rather clearly. Others supply with a challenge to realism, but (...)
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  • Are There Passive Desires?David Wall - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (2):133-155.
    What is the relation between desire and action? According to a traditional, widespread and influential view I call ‘The Motivational Necessity of Desire’, having a desire that p entails being disposed to act in ways that you believe will bring about p. But what about desires like a desire that the committee chooses you without your needing to do anything, or a desire that your child passes her exams on her own? Such ‘self‐passive’ desires are often given as a counter‐example (...)
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  • Pain for Objectivists: The Case of Matters of Mere Taste.David Sobel - 2005 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (4):437 - 457.
    Can we adequately account for our reasons of mere taste without holding that our desires ground such reasons? Recently, Scanlon and Parfit have argued that we can, pointing to pleasure and pain as the grounds of such reasons. In this paper I take issue with each of their accounts. I conclude that we do not yet have a plausible rival to a desire-based understanding of the grounds of such reasons.
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  • Affective Experience, Desire, and Reasons for Action.Declan Smithies & Jeremy Weiss - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (1):27-54.
    What is the role of affective experience in explaining how our desires provide us with reasons for action? When we desire that p, we are thereby disposed to feel attracted to the prospect that p, or to feel averse to the prospect that not-p. In this paper, we argue that affective experiences – including feelings of attraction and aversion – provide us with reasons for action in virtue of their phenomenal character. Moreover, we argue that desires provide us with reasons (...)
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  • The Reasons That Matter.Stephen Finlay - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (1):1 – 20.
    Bernard Williams's motivational reasons-internalism fails to capture our first-order reasons judgements, while Derek Parfit's nonnaturalistic reasons-externalism cannot explain the nature or normative authority of reasons. This paper offers an intermediary view, reformulating scepticism about external reasons as the claim not that they don't exist but rather that they don't matter. The end-relational theory of normative reasons is proposed, according to which a reason for an action is a fact that explains why the action would be good relative to some end, (...)
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  • Deontological Restrictions and the Self/Other Asymmetry.David Alm - 2008 - Noûs 42 (4):642-672.
    This paper offers a partial justification of so-called "deontological restrictions." Specifically it defends the "self/other asymmetry," that we are morally obligated to treat our own agency, and thus its results, as specially important. The argument rests on a picture of moral obligation of a broadly Kantian sort. In particular, it rests on the basic normative assumption that our fundamental obligations are determined by the principles which a rational being as such would follow. These include principles which it is not essential (...)
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  • Well-Being as the Object of Moral Consideration.David Sobel - 1998 - Economics and Philosophy 14 (2):249.
    The proposal I offer attempts to remedy the inadequacies of exclusive focus on well-being for moral purposes. The proposal is this: We should allow the agent to decide for herself where she wants to throw the weight that is her due in moral reflection, with the proviso that she understands the way that her weight will be aggregated with others in reaching a moral outcome. I will call this the "autonomy principle." The autonomy principle, I claim, provides the consequentialist's best (...)
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  • An Argument for Agent-Neutral Value.David Alm - 2007 - Ratio 20 (3):249–263.
    This paper argues that to any agent‐relative value maker there will correspond an agent‐neutral value maker, and the latter explains the former; and that to each agent‐relative constitutive ground there corresponds a neutral one, and the latter explains the former. It follows from , if not from , that agent‐neutral value exists if agent‐relative value does.
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  • Correcting Our Sentiments About Hume’s Moral Point of View.Kate Abramson - 1999 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 37 (3):333-361.
  • Dewey's Independent Factors in Moral Action [Preprint].Steven Fesmire - 2020 - In Roberto Frega & Steven Levine (eds.), John Dewey's Ethical Theory: The 1932 Ethics. New York and London: pp. 18-39.
    Drawing on archival and published sources from 1926 to 1932, this chapter analyzes “Three Independent Factors in Morals” (1930) as a blueprint to Dewey’s chapters in the 1932 Ethics. The 1930 presentation is Dewey’s most concise and sophisticated critique of the quest in ethical theory for the central and basic source of normative justification. He argued that moral situations are heterogeneous in their origins and operations. They elude full predictability and are not controllable by the impositions of any abstract monistic (...)
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  • Free Will and the Structure of Motivation.David Shatz - 1985 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 10 (1):451-82.
  • Autonomous Machines, Moral Judgment, and Acting for the Right Reasons.Duncan Purves, Ryan Jenkins & Bradley J. Strawser - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (4):851-872.
    We propose that the prevalent moral aversion to AWS is supported by a pair of compelling objections. First, we argue that even a sophisticated robot is not the kind of thing that is capable of replicating human moral judgment. This conclusion follows if human moral judgment is not codifiable, i.e., it cannot be captured by a list of rules. Moral judgment requires either the ability to engage in wide reflective equilibrium, the ability to perceive certain facts as moral considerations, moral (...)
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  • Whither Anankastics?Billy Dunaway & Alex Silk - 2014 - Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):75-94.
  • The Ontology of Epistemic Reasons.John Turri - 2009 - Noûs 43 (3):490-512.
    Epistemic reasons are mental states. They are not propositions or non-mental facts. The discussion proceeds as follows. Section 1 introduces the topic. Section 2 gives two concrete examples of how our topic directly affects the internalism/externalism debate in normative epistemology. Section 3 responds to an argument against the view that reasons are mental states. Section 4 presents two problems for the view that reasons are propositions. Section 5 presents two problems for the view that reasons are non-mental facts. Section 6 (...)
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  • Do Hypothetical Imperatives Require Categorical Imperatives?Jeremy Schwartz - 2010 - European Journal of Philosophy 18 (1):84-107.
    : Recently, the idea that every hypothetical imperative must somehow be ‘backed up’ by a prior categorical imperative has gained a certain influence among Kant interpreters and ethicists influenced by Kant. Since instrumentalism is the position that holds that hypothetical imperatives can by themselves and without the aid of categorical imperatives explain all valid forms of practical reasoning, the influential idea amounts to a rejection of instrumentalism as internally incoherent. This paper argues against this prevailing view both as an interpretation (...)
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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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  • Girls Blush, Sometimes: Gender, Moral Agency, and the Problem of Shame.Jennifer C. Manion - 2003 - Hypatia 18 (3):21-41.
    Few contemporary philosophers discuss the ways in which the emotion of shame may be gendered. This paper addresses this situation, examining Gabriele Taylor's account of genuine vs. false shame. 1 argue that, by attending to the social pressures placed on many women to conform to a certain vision of femininity, an analysis of the shame to which women may be prone shows that Taylor's account of shame remains incomplete.
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  • Acting and Believing Under the Guise of Normative Reasons.Keshav Singh - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (2):409-430.
    In this paper, I defend an account of the reasons for which we act, believe, and so on for any Ф such that there can be reasons for which we Ф. Such reasons are standardly called motivating reasons. I argue that three dominant views of motivating reasons all fail to capture the ordinary concept of a motivating reason. I show this by drawing out three constraints on what motivating reasons must be, and demonstrating how each view fails to satisfy at (...)
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  • Against Strong Cognitivism: An Argument From the Particularity of Love.Hilla Jacobson - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (3):563-596.
    According to the view we may term “strong cognitivism”, all reasons for action are rooted in normative features that the motivated subject takes objects to have independently of her attitudes towards these objects. The main concern of this paper is to argue against strong cognitivism, that is, to establish the view that conative attitudes do provide subjects with reasons for action. The central argument to this effect is a top-down argument: it proceeds by an analysis of the complex phenomenon of (...)
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  • Toward a Feminist Conception of Self-Respect.Robin S. Dillon - 1992 - Hypatia 7 (1):52-69.
    The concept of self - respect is often invoked in feminist theorizing. But both women's too-common experiences of struggling to have self - respect and the results of feminist critiques of related moral concepts suggest the need for feminist critique and reconceptualization of self - respect. I argue that a familiar conception of self - respect is masculinist, thus less accessible to women and less than conducive to liberation. Emancipatory theory and practice require a suitably feminist conception of self - (...)
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  • Primitivism and the Analogy Between Colors and Values.Hagit Benbaji - 2013 - Metaphilosophy 44 (5):621-639.
    The analogy between colors and values is strongly interlinked with the idea that these properties are by nature dispositions or response-dependent properties. Indeed, that colors are essentially visible, and values are inherently motivational, cries out for a dispositional or a response-dependent account. Recently, Primitivism has challenged the viability of the dispositional account of colors, taking the apple, for instance, to be “gloriously, perfectly, and primitively red.” Unsurprisingly, the attack on the dispositional account of colors has found a moral analogue in (...)
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  • Taking on Intentions.Chrisoula Andreou - 2009 - Ratio 22 (2):157-169.
    I propose a model of intention formation and argue that it illuminates and does justice to the complex and interesting relationships between intentions on the one hand and practical deliberation, evaluative judgements, desires, beliefs, and conduct on the other. As I explain, my model allows that intentions normally stem from pro-attitudes and normally control conduct, but it is also revealing with respect to cases in which intentions do not stem from pro-attitudes or do not control conduct. Moreover, it makes the (...)
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  • A Frege‐Geach Style Objection to Cognitivist Judgment Internalism.Thorsten Sander - 2014 - Dialectica 68 (3):391-408.
    According to judgment internalism, there is a conceptual connection between moral judgment and motivation. This paper offers an argument against that kind of internalism that does not involve counterexamples of the amoralist sort. Instead, it is argued that these forms of judgment internalism fall prey to a Frege-Geach type argument.
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  • The Normative, the Practical, and the Deliberatively Indispensable.Andrew Stewart - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-21.
  • The Scope of Instrumental Reason.Mark Schroeder - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):337–364.
    Allow me to rehearse a familiar scenario. We all know that which ends you have has something to do with what you ought to do. If Ronnie is keen on dancing but Bradley can’t stand it, then the fact that there will be dancing at the party tonight affects what Ronnie and Bradley ought to do in different ways. In short, (HI) you ought, if you have the end, to take the means. But now trouble looms: what if you have (...)
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