Permissibility and practical inference

Ethics 115 (3):443-470 (2005)
I wish to examine a rather different way of thinking about permissibility, one according to which, roughly speaking, an agent acts impermissibly if and only if he acts for reasons insufficient to justify him in doing what he does. For reasons that will emerge in Section II, I call this the inferential account of permissibility. I shall not here try to prove that this account is superior to its rivals. My aims are more modest. I shall develop the inferential account, exhibiting some of its attractions along the way, and then show that it is invulnerable to a number of influential objections to the very idea that an agent's reasons for acting could be directly relevant to whether he acts permissibly. If these objections have seemed decisive, it is because we have not considered the full range of possible accounts. The inferential account of permissibility is both plausible and attractive---it deserves to be taken seriously.
Keywords permissibility  practical reasoning
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/428457
 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

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,865
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Dana Kay Nelkin & Samuel C. Rickless (2013). Three Cheers for Double Effect. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (1):125-158.
Dustin Locke (2015). Practical Certainty. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (1):72-95.
Alec Walen (2006). The Doctrine of Illicit Intentions. Philosophy and Public Affairs 34 (1):39–67.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

47 ( #71,229 of 1,724,875 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #268,588 of 1,724,875 )

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.