The composition of reasons

Synthese:1-22 (2013)
Abstract
How do reasons combine? How is it that several reasons taken together can have a combined weight which exceeds the weight of any one alone? I propose an answer in mereological terms: reasons combine by composing a further, complex reason of which they are parts. Their combined weight is the weight of their combination. I develop a mereological framework, and use this to investigate some structural views about reasons. Two of these views I call “Atomism” and “Wholism”. Atomism is the view that atomic reasons are fundamental: all reasons reduce to atomic reasons. Wholism is the view that whole reasons are fundamental. I argue for Wholism, and against Atomism. I also consider whether reasons might be “context-sensitive”
Keywords Reasons  Mereology  Atomism  Wholism  Additivism   Marginalism  Isolationism
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Michael Ridge (2007). Anti-Reductionism and Supervenience. Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (3):330-348.

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