David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Utilitas 18 (4):329-361 (2006)
Many philosophers hold that whether an act is overall morally obligatory is an ‘objective’ matter, many that it is a ‘subjective’ matter, and some that it is both. The idea that it is or can be both may seem to promise a helpful answer to the question ‘What ought I to do when I do not know what I ought to do?’ In this article, three broad views are distinguished regarding what it is that obligation essentially concerns: the maximization of actual value, the maximization of expected value, and the perceived maximization of actual value. The first and third views are rejected; the second view is then refined and defended. The unfortunate upshot is that there may be no very helpful answer to the question just mentioned. As to the question posed in the title of the article, the answer unsurprisingly depends on what ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ are taken to mean. (Published Online November 24 2006).
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Citations of this work BETA
Fred Feldman (2006). Actual Utility, the Objection From Impracticality, and the Move to Expected Utility. Philosophical Studies 129 (1):49 - 79.
Fred Feldman (2012). True and Useful: On the Structure of a Two Level Normative Theory. Utilitas 24 (02):151-171.
Christopher J. G. Meacham (2013). Impermissive Bayesianism. Erkenntnis:1-33.
Simon Robertson (2011). Epistemic Constraints on Practical Normativity. Synthese 181 (Supp.1):81-106.
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