American Journal of Philosophy 41 (4):232-330 (2004)

Christopher Morgan-Knapp
State University of New York at Binghamton
By analyzing cases in which we must choose between options whose values are not precisely comparable, this paper presents the case for the existence of a previously unrecognized class of practical reasons – reasons that arise from how the value of an option compares to the values of the alternatives. Several implications of these comparative value-based reasons are discussed – including the context-dependence of one option’s being ‘rationally preferable to’ an alternative, and the fact that, even when the values of an agent’s alternatives fail to be precisely comparable, practical reason will always be able to determine that the choice of at least one option is justified.
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