The End-Relational Theory of 'Ought' and the Weight of Reasons

Dialectica 64 (3):405-417 (2010)
Stephen Finlay analyses ‘ought’ in terms of probability. According to him, normative ‘ought's are statements about the likelihood that an act will realize some (contextually supplied) end. I raise a problem for this theory. It concerns the relation between ‘ought’ and the balance of reasons. ‘A ought to Φ’ seems to entail that the balance of reasons favours that A Φ-es, and vice versa. Given Finlay's semantics for ‘ought’, it also makes sense to think of reasons and their weight in terms of probability. In this paper, I develop such a theory of weight. It turns out, however, that it cannot explain the entailments. This leaves Finlay with a challenge: to explain these entailments in some other way consistent with his theory, or to show why the appearances deceive and there are no such entailments
Keywords ought  reasons  weight of reasons  Stephen Finlay  moral semantics
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive Daan Evers, The End-Relational Theory of 'Ought' and the Weight of Reasons
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Stephen Finlay (2009). Oughts and Ends. Philosophical Studies 143 (3):315 - 340.
Stephen Finlay (2008). The Error in the Error Theory. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (3):347-369.
Stephen Finlay (2006). The Reasons That Matter. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (1):1 – 20.
Stephen Finlay (2005). Value and Implicature. Philosophers' Imprint 5 (4):1-20.

View all 8 references

Citations of this work BETA
Daan Evers (2013). Weight for Stephen Finlay. Philosophical Studies 163 (3):737-749.
Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

137 ( #8,625 of 1,692,217 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

11 ( #20,491 of 1,692,217 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.