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Unknowable Obligations

Utilitas 7 (2):247-271 (1995)

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  1. Moral Vagueness: A Dilemma for Non-Naturalism.Cristian Constantinescu - 2014 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: Volume 9. Oxford University Press. pp. 152-185.
    In this paper I explore the implications of moral vagueness (viz., the vagueness of moral predicates) for non-naturalist metaethical theories like those recently championed by Shafer-Landau, Parfit, and others. I characterise non-naturalism in terms of its commitment to 7 theses: Cognitivism, Correspondence, Atomism, Objectivism, Supervenience, Non-reductivism, and Rationalism. I start by offering a number of reasons for thinking that moral predicates are vague in the same way in which ‘red’, ‘tall’, and ‘heap’ are said to be. I then argue that (...)
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  • Are Epistemic Reasons Perspective-Dependent?Davide Fassio - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (12):3253-3283.
    This paper focuses on the relation between epistemic reasons and the subject’s epistemic perspective. It tackles the questions of whether epistemic reasons are dependent on the perspective of the subject they are reasons for, and if so, whether they are dependent on the actual or the potential perspective. It is argued that epistemic reasons are either independent or minimally dependent on the subject’s epistemic perspective. In particular, I provide three arguments supporting the conclusion that epistemic reasons are not dependent on (...)
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  • And So On. Two Theories of Regress Arguments in Philosophy.Jan Willem Wieland - 2012 - Dissertation,
    This dissertation is on infinite regress arguments in philosophy. Its main goals are to explain what such arguments from many distinct philosophical debates have in common, and to provide guidelines for using and evaluating them. Two theories are reviewed: the Paradox Theory and the Failure Theory. According to the Paradox Theory, infinite regress arguments can be used to refute an existentially or universally quantified statement (e.g. to refute the statement that at least one discussion is settled, or the statement that (...)
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  • Regress Argument Reconstruction.Jan Willem Wieland - 2012 - Argumentation 26 (4):489-503.
    If an argument can be reconstructed in at least two different ways, then which reconstruction is to be preferred? In this paper I address this problem of argument reconstruction in terms of Ryle’s infinite regress argument against the view that knowledge-how requires knowledge-that. First, I demonstrate that Ryle’s initial statement of the argument does not fix its reconstruction as it admits two, structurally different reconstructions. On the basis of this case and infinite regress arguments generally, I defend a revisionary take (...)
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  • Logical Luck.Roy A. Sorensen - 1998 - Philosophical Quarterly 48 (192):319-334.
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  • The Significance of Significant Fundamental Moral Disagreement.Richard Rowland - 2017 - Noûs 51 (4):802-831.
    This paper is about how moral disagreement matters for metaethics. It has four parts. In the first part I argue that moral facts are subject to a certain epistemic accessibility requirement. Namely, moral facts must be accessible to some possible agent. In the second part I show that because this accessibility requirement on moral facts holds, there is a route from facts about the moral disagreements of agents in idealized conditions to conclusions about what moral facts there are. In the (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility.Elinor Mason - 2005 - Philosophical Books 46 (4):343-353.
    In this account of recent work on moral responsibility I shall try to disen- tangle various different sorts of question about moral responsibility. In brief, the tangle includes questions about whether we have free will, questions about whether moral responsibility is compatible with free will, and questions about what moral responsibility involves. As far as possible I will ignore the first sort of question, be as brief as possible on the second sort of question, and focus on the third question. (...)
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  • The Harsanyi-Rawls Debate: Political Philosophy as Decision Theory Under Uncertainty.Ramiro Ávila Peres - forthcoming - Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofía.
    Social decisions are often made under great uncertainty – in situations where political principles, and even standard subjective expected utility, do not apply smoothly. In the first section, we argue that the core of this problem lies in decision theory itself – it is about how to act when we do not have an adequate representation of the context of the action and of its possible consequences. Thus, we distinguish two criteria to complement decision theory under ignorance – Laplace’s principle (...)
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  • Equality and Responsibility in Financial Crisis: An Ethical Approach to the Regulation of Bail-Outs, Moral Hazards and Accountability.Ramiro Ávila Peres - 2020 - Working Papers Series of the Central Bank of Brazil.
    After the 2008 crisis, there were several debates on the bail-out and the lack of accountability of financial institutions; this supposedly affects politica l values such as equality and responsibility: it implies transferring resources from the public (for instance, poor people) to specific economic agents who have chosen to incur certain risks. On the other hand, it is arguable that it would not be up to the regulators to protect investors’ interests, and that there would be more efficient and less (...)
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  • Just Do It? When to Do What You Judge You Ought to Do.Julien Dutant & Clayton Littlejohn - 2018 - Synthese 195 (9):3755-3772.
    While it is generally believed that justification is a fallible guide to the truth, there might be interesting exceptions to this general rule. In recent work on bridge-principles, an increasing number of authors have argued that truths about what a subject ought to do are truths we stand in some privileged epistemic relation to and that our justified normative beliefs are beliefs that will not lead us astray. If these bridge-principles hold, it suggests that justification might play an interesting role (...)
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  • What the doctor should do: perspectivist duties for objectivists about ought.Davide Fassio - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    Objectivism is the view that how an agent ought to act depends on all kinds of facts, regardless of the agent’s epistemic position with respect to them. One of the most important challenges to this view is constituted by certain cases involving specific conditions of uncertainty—so-called three-options cases. In these cases it seems overwhelmingly plausible that an agent ought to do what is recommendable given her limited perspective, even though the agent knows that this is not objectively the best course (...)
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  • Epistemicism, Paradox, and Conditional Obligation.Ivan Hu - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2123-2139.
    Stewart Shapiro has objected to the epistemicist theory of vagueness on grounds that it gives counterintuitive predictions about cases involving conditional obligation. This paper details a response on the epistemicist’s behalf. I first argue that Shapiro’s own presentation of the objection is unsuccessful as an argument against epistemicism. I then reconstruct and offer two alternative arguments inspired by Shapiro’s considerations, and argue that these fail too, given the information-sensitive nature of conditional obligations.
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  • Infinite Regress Arguments.Jan Willem Wieland - 2013 - Springer.
    This book on infinite regress arguments provides (i) an up-to-date overview of the literature on the topic, (ii) ready-to-use insights for all domains of philosophy, and (iii) two case studies to illustrate these insights in some detail. Infinite regress arguments play an important role in all domains of philosophy. There are infinite regresses of reasons, obligations, rules, and disputes, and all are supposed to have their own moral. Yet most of them are involved in controversy. Hence the question is: what (...)
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  • Rationality and Irrationality: Proceeedings of the 23rd International Wittgenstein Symposium, 13-19 August 2000, Kirchberg Am Wechsel.Berit Brogaard & Barry Smith (eds.) - 2001 - öbv&hpt.
    This volume consists of the invited papers presented at the 23rd International Wittgenstein Conference held in Kirchberg, Austria in August 2000. Among the topics treated are: truth, psychologism, science, the nature of rational discourse, practical reason, contextualism, vagueness, types of rationality, the rationality of religious belief, and Wittgenstein. Questions addressed include: Is rationality tied to special sorts of contexts? ls rationality tied to language? Is scientific rationality the only kind of rationality? Is there something like a Western rationality? and: Could (...)
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  • On Treating Something as a Reason for Action.Clayton Littlejohn - 2008 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (1):1-5.
  • Should We Be Dogmatically Conciliatory?Clayton Littlejohn - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1381-1398.
    A familiar complaint about conciliatory approaches to disagreement is that they are self-defeating or incoherent because they ‘call for their own rejection’. This complaint seems to be influential but it isn’t clear whether conciliatory views call for their own rejection or what, if anything, this tells us about the coherence of such views. We shall look at two ways of developing this self-defeat objection and we shall see that conciliatory views emerge unscathed. A simple version of the self-defeat objection leaves (...)
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  • Perspectivism, Accessibility and the Failure of Conjunction Agglomeration.Davide Fassio - 2020 - Ethics 131 (2):183-206.
    Potential perspectivism is the view that what an agent ought to do (believe, like, fear, … ) depends primarily on facts that are potentially available to her. I consider a challenge to this view. Potentially accessible facts do not always agglomerate over conjunction. This implies that one can fail to have relevant access to a set of facts as a whole but have access to proper subsets of it, each of which can support different incompatible responses. I argue that potential (...)
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  • Access and the Shirker Problem.Jan Willem Wieland - 2015 - American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (3):289-300.
    The Access principle places an epistemic restriction on our obligations. This principle falls prey to the ‘Shirker Problem’, namely that shirkers could evade their obligations by evading certain epistemic circumstances. To block this problem, it has been suggested that shirkers have the obligation to learn their obligations. This solution yields a regress, yet it is controversial what the moral of the regress actually is. The aim of this paper is two-fold. First, I spell out this intricate dispute. Second, on the (...)
     
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  • Boundary Problems and Self-Ownership.Jessica Flanigan - 2019 - Social Philosophy and Policy 36 (2):9-35.
    :Self-ownership theorists argue that many of our most morally urgent and enforceable rights stem from the fact that we own ourselves. Critics of self-ownership argue that the claim that people own their bodies commits self-ownership theorists to several implausible conclusions because self-ownership theory relies on several vague moral predicates, and any precisification of the required predicates is seemingly too permissive or too restrictive. I argue that this line of criticism does not undermine the case for self-ownership theory because self-ownership theory (...)
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  • Impossibilità Nel Diritto.Guglielmo Feis - 2014 - Dissertation, Università Degli Studi di Milano
    My Ph.D. thesis œImpossibilità nel diritto€ [Impossibility in the Legal Domain] is devoted to the systematic analyses of what are called, at least prima facie, €œlegal impossibilities. My dissertation defines and isolates an area of studies - impossibility in the law - that has never been put organically together. In my work I present some case studies of normative impossibilities and discuss them from a philosophical point of view: impossible laws, impossible norms in a prescriptive theory of norms (ch. 2), (...)
     
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