The composition of reasons

Synthese (5):1-22 (2013)
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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DOI 10.1007/s11229-013-0299-8
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References found in this work BETA
Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
D. M. Armstrong (1993). A World of States of Affairs. Philosophical Perspectives 7 (3):429-440.

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