Utilitas 31 (3):277-290 (2019)

Authors
Stefan Riedener
University of Zürich
Abstract
Many people think that if you're uncertain about which moral theory is correct, you ought to maximize the expected choice-worthiness of your actions. This idea presupposes that the strengths of our moral reasons are comparable across theories – for instance, that our reasons to create new people, according to total utilitarianism, can be stronger than our reasons to benefit an existing person, according to a person-affecting view. But how can we make sense of such comparisons? In this article, I introduce a constructivist account of intertheoretic comparisons. On this account, such comparisons don't hold independently of facts about morally uncertain agents. They're simply the result of an ideal deliberation in terms of certain epistemic norms about what you ought to do in light of your uncertainty. If I'm right, this account is metaphysically more parsimonious than some existing proposals, and yet has plausible and strong implications.
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DOI 10.1017/s0953820819000165
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References found in this work BETA

Kantian Constructivism in Moral Theory.John Rawls - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 77 (9):515-572.
Running Risks Morally.Brian Weatherson - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (1):141-163.
The Irrelevance of Moral Uncertainty.Elizabeth Harman - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 10.
In Defence of My Favourite Theory.Johan E. Gustafsson & Olle Torpman - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (2):159-174.
Intertheoretic Value Comparison: A Modest Proposal.Christian Tarsney - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (3):324-344.

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Citations of this work BETA

Uncertain Preferences in Rational Decision.Moritz Schulz - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (6):605-627.

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