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  1. Uncertain Values: An Axiomatic Approach to Axiological Uncertainty.Stefan Riedener - 2021 - Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter.
    How ought you to evaluate your options if you're uncertain about what's fundamentally valuable? A prominent response is Expected Value Maximisation (EVM)—the view that under axiological uncertainty, an option is better than another if and only if it has the greater expected value across axiologies. But the expected value of an option depends on quantitative probability and value facts, and in particular on value comparisons across axiologies. We need to explain what it is for such facts to hold. Also, EVM (...)
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  • Moral Uncertainty.Krister Bykvist - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (3):e12408.
    What should we do when we are not certain about what we morally should do? There is a long history of theorizing about decision-making under empirical uncertainty, but surprisingly little has been written about the moral uncertainty expressed by this question. Only very recently have philosophers started to systematically address the nature of such uncertainty and its impacts on decision-making. This paper addresses the main problems raised by moral uncertainty and critically examines some proposed solutions.
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  • Quasi-realism and normative certitude.Stina Björkholm, Krister Bykvist & Jonas Olson - 2021 - Synthese 198 (8):7861-7869.
    Just as we can be more or less certain that there is extraterrestrial life or that Goldbach’s conjecture is correct, we can be more or less certain about normative matters, such as whether euthanasia is permissible or whether utilitarianism is true. However, accommodating the phenomenon of degrees of normative certitude is a difficult challenge for non-cognitivist and expressivist views, according to which normative judgements are desire-like attitudes rather than beliefs. Several attempts have been made on behalf of non-cognitivism and expressivism (...)
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  • Attitudinal Ambivalence: Moral Uncertainty for Non-Cognitivists.Nicholas Makins - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    In many situations, people are unsure in their moral judgements. In much recent philosophical literature, this kind of moral doubt has been analysed in terms of uncertainty in one’s moral beliefs. Non-cognitivists, however, argue that moral judgements express a kind of conative attitude, more akin to a desire than a belief. This paper presents a scientifically informed reconciliation of non-cognitivism and moral doubt. The central claim is that attitudinal ambivalence—the degree to which one holds conflicting attitudes towards the same object—can (...)
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  • Normative certitude for expressivists.Michael Ridge - 2020 - Synthese 197 (8):3325-3347.
    Quasi-realists aspire to accommodate core features of ordinary normative thought and discourse in an expressivist framework. One apparent such feature is that we can be more or less confident in our normative judgments—they vary in credence. Michael Smith has argued that quasi-realists cannot plausibly accommodate these distinctions simply because they understand normative judgments as desires, but desires lack the structure needed to distinguish these three features. Existing attempts to meet Smith’s challenge have accepted Smith’s presupposition that the way to meet (...)
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  • A Solution to the Many Attitudes Problem.Bob Beddor - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2789-2813.
    According to noncognitivism, normative beliefs are just desire-like attitudes. While noncognitivists have devoted great effort to explaining the nature of normative belief, they have said little about all of the other attitudes we take towards normative matters. Many of us desire to do the right thing. We sometimes wonder whether our conduct is morally permissible; we hope that it is, and occasionally fear that it is not. This gives rise to what Schroeder calls the 'Many Attitudes Problem': the problem of (...)
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  • The Problem of Ethical Vagueness for Expressivism.Nicholas Baima - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):593-605.
    Ethical vagueness has garnered little attention. This is rather surprising since many philosophers have remarked that the science of ethics lacks the precision that other fields of inquiry have. Of the few philosophers who have discussed ethical vagueness the majority have focused on the implications of vagueness for moral realism. Because the relevance of ethical vagueness for other metaethical positions has been underexplored, my aim in this paper is to investigate the ramifications of ethical vagueness for expressivism. Ultimately, I shall (...)
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  • Bayesian Variations: Essays on the Structure, Object, and Dynamics of Credence.Aron Vallinder - 2018 - Dissertation, London School of Economics
    According to the traditional Bayesian view of credence, its structure is that of precise probability, its objects are descriptive propositions about the empirical world, and its dynamics are given by conditionalization. Each of the three essays that make up this thesis deals with a different variation on this traditional picture. The first variation replaces precise probability with sets of probabilities. The resulting imprecise Bayesianism is sometimes motivated on the grounds that our beliefs should not be more precise than the evidence (...)
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  • Does MITE Make Right? Decision-Making Under Normative Uncertainty.Brian Hedden - 2016 - In Russ Schafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics Volume 11. pp. 102-128.
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  • Rationality and Moral Risk: A Moderate Defense of Hedging.Christian Tarsney - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Maryland
    How should an agent decide what to do when she is uncertain not just about morally relevant empirical matters, like the consequences of some course of action, but about the basic principles of morality itself? This question has only recently been taken up in a systematic way by philosophers. Advocates of moral hedging claim that an agent should weigh the reasons put forward by each moral theory in which she has positive credence, considering both the likelihood that that theory is (...)
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  • The Problem of Other Attitudes.Derek Shiller - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (2):141-152.
    Non-cognitivists are known to face a problem in extending their account of straightforward predicative moral judgments to logically complex moral judgments. This paper presents a related problem concerning how non-cognitivists might extend their accounts of moral judgments to other kinds of moral attitudes, such as moral hopes and moral intuitions. Non-cognitivists must solve three separate challenges: they must explain the natures of these other attitudes, they must explain why they count as moral attitudes, and they must explain why the moral (...)
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  • Non-Cognitivism and the Classification Account of Moral Uncertainty.John Eriksson & Ragnar Francén Olinder - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):719-735.
    ABSTRACTIt has been objected to moral non-cognitivism that it cannot account for fundamental moral uncertainty. A person is derivatively uncertain about whether an act is, say, morally wrong, when her certainty is at bottom due to uncertainty about whether the act has certain non-moral, descriptive, properties, which she takes to be wrong-making. She is fundamentally morally uncertain when her uncertainty directly concerns whether the properties of the act are wrong-making. In this paper we advance a new reply to the objection (...)
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  • Expressivism, Normative Uncertainty, and Arguments for Probabilism.Julia Staffel - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 6.
    I argue that in order to account for normative uncertainty, an expressivist theory of normative language and thought must accomplish two things: Firstly, it needs to find room in its framework for a gradable conative attitude, degrees of which can be interpreted as representing normative uncertainty. Secondly, it needs to defend appropriate rationality constraints pertaining to those graded attitudes. The first task – finding an appropriate graded attitude that can represent uncertainty – is not particularly problematic. I tackle the second (...)
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  • Expressivism and Collectives.Michael Ridge - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):833-861.
    Expressivists have a problem with collectives. I initially illustrate the problem against the background of Allan Gibbard’s expressivist theory, where it is especially stark. I then argue that the problem generalizes. Gibbard’s account entails that judgments about what collective agents ought to do are contingency plans for what to do if one is in the circumstances facing the relevant collective agent. So, for example, my judgment that the United States ought not to have invaded Iraq is a contingency plan for (...)
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  • Against the Being For Account of Normative Certitude.Krister Bykvist & Jonas Olson - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 6 (2):1-8.
    Just as we can be more or less certain about empirical matters, we can be more or less certain about normative matters. Recently, it has been argued that this is a challenge for noncognitivism about normativity. Michael Smith presented the challenge in a 2002 paper and James Lenman and Michael Ridge responded independently. Andrew Sepielli has now joined the rescue operation. His basic idea is that noncognitivists should employ the notion of being for to account for normative certitude. We shall (...)
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  • Grading Modal Judgement.Nate Charlow - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):769-807.
    This paper proposes a new model of graded modal judgment. It begins by problematizing the phenomenon: given plausible constraints on the logic of epistemic modality, it is impossible to model graded attitudes toward modal claims as judgments of probability targeting epistemically modal propositions. This paper considers two alternative models, on which modal operators are non-proposition-forming: (1) Moss (2015), in which graded attitudes toward modal claims are represented as judgments of probability targeting a “proxy” proposition, belief in which would underwrite belief (...)
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  • Moral Uncertainty and Permissibility: Evaluating Option Sets.Christian Barry & Patrick Tomlin - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (6):1-26.
    In this essay, we explore an issue of moral uncertainty: what we are permitted to do when we are unsure about which moral principles are correct. We develop a novel approach to this issue that incorporates important insights from previous work on moral uncertainty, while avoiding some of the difficulties that beset existing alternative approaches. Our approach is based on evaluating and choosing between option sets rather than particular conduct options. We show how our approach is particularly well-suited to address (...)
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  • Non-Cognitivism and Fundamental Moral Certitude: Reply to Eriksson and Francén Olinder.Krister Bykvist & Jonas Olson - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (4):794-799.
    Accommodating degrees of moral certitude is a serious problem for non-cognitivism about ethics. In particular, non-cognitivism has trouble accommodating fundamental moral certitude. John Eriksson and Ragnar Francén Olinder [2016] have recently proposed a solution. In fact, Eriksson and Francén Olinder offer two different proposals—one ‘classification’ account and one ‘projectivist’ account. We argue that the classification account faces the same problem as previous accounts do, while the projectivist account has unacceptable implications. Non-cognitivists will have to look elsewhere for a plausible solution (...)
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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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