What Are Our Options?

Abstract

We ought to perform our best option—that is, the option that we have most reason, all things considered, to perform. This is perhaps the most fundamental and least controversial of all normative principles concerning action. Yet, it is not, I believe, well understood. For even setting aside questions about what our reasons are and about how best to formulate the principle, there is a question about how we should construe our options. This question is of the upmost importance, for which option will count as being best depends on how broadly or narrowly we are to construe our options. In this paper, I argue that we ought to construe an agent’s options at a time, t, as being those actions (or sets of actions) that are scrupulously securable by her at t.

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Douglas W. Portmore
Arizona State University

References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza - 1998 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mark Ravizza.
Fittingness: The sole normative primitive.Richard Yetter Chappell - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (249):684 - 704.
Practical reasoning.Gilbert Harman - 1997 - In Alfred R. Mele (ed.), Review of Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 431--63.

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