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  1. Handout #5: Anti-Rationalism and Internalism About Practical Reason.David O. Brink - manuscript
    Given these worries about strategic ethical egoism, we might conclude that morality and rationality are two independent points of view. We might agree that morality is impartial but insist that practical reason is instrumental or prudential. If so, we can see how there might be conflicts between practical reason and other-regarding morality, because other-regarding duties need not always advance the agent's own aims and interests. If there can be such conflicts, then immoral action is not necessarily irrational. If so, we (...)
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  2. Hypotheticalism and the Objectivity of Morality.Kelly Heuer - manuscript
    Mark Schroeder’s Slaves of the Passions defends a version of the Humean Theory of Reasons he calls “Hypotheticalism,” according to which all reasons an agent has for action are explained by desires that are in turn explained by reference to her psychology. This paper disputes Schroeder’s claim that his theory has the potential to allay long-standing worries about moral objectivity and normativity within a Humean framework because it fails to attain the requisite level of agent-neutrality for moral reasons. The particular (...)
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  3. On What Matters Not: The Veto Power of Desire.Kate Manne - manuscript
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  4. The Indeterminacy of Desire and Practical Reason.Patrick Fleming - forthcoming - In David K. Chan (ed.), Moral Psychology Today: Essays on Values, Rational Choice, and the Will. Springer: Philosophical Studies Series.
    Bernard Williams has famously argued that all reasons for action are internal reasons.1 The internalist requirement on reasons is that all reasons must be linked to the agent’s subjective motivational state by a sound deliberative route. This argument has been the subject of a great deal of debate. In this paper I wish to draw attention to a much less discussed aspect of Williams’ papers on internalism. Williams believes that there is an essential indeterminacy regarding what an agent has a (...)
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  5. Desire as Belief: A Study of Desire, Motivation, and Rationality.Alex Gregory - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
    What is it to want something? Or, as philosophers might ask, what is a desire? This book defends “desire-as-belief”, the view that desires are just a special subset of our beliefs: normative beliefs. This view entitles us to accept orthodox models of human motivation and rationality that explain those things with reference to desire, but nonetheless to also make room for our normative beliefs to play a role in those domains. And this view tells us to diverge from the orthodox (...)
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  6. Ambidextrous Reasons (or Why Reasons First's Reasons Aren't Facts).Nathan Robert Howard - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    The wrong kind of reason (WKR) problem is a problem for attempts to analyze normative properties using only facts about the balance of normative reasons, a style of analysis on which the ‘Reasons First’ programme depends. I argue that this problem cannot be solved if the orthodox view of reasons is true --- that is, if each normative reason is numerically identical with some fact, proposition, or state-of-affairs. That’s because solving the WKR problem requires completely distinguishing between the right- and (...)
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  7. One Desire Too Many.Nathan Robert Howard - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    I defend the widely-held view that morally worthy action need not be motivated by a desire to promote rightness as such. Some have recently come to reject this view, arguing that desires for rightness as such are necessary for avoiding a certain kind of luck thought incompatible with morally worthy action. I show that those who defend desires for rightness as such on the basis of this argument misunderstand the relationship between moral worth and the kind of luck that their (...)
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  8. Rationality as Reasons-Responsiveness.Benjamin Kiesewetter - forthcoming - Australasian Philosophical Review.
    John Broome argues that rationality cannot consist in reasons-responsiveness since rationality supervenes on the mind, while reasons-responsiveness does not supervene on the mind. I here defend this conception of rationality by way of defending the assumption that reasons-responsiveness supervenes on the mind. Given the many advantages of an analysis of rationality in terms of reasons-responsiveness, and in light of independent considerations in favour of the view that reasons-responsiveness supervenes on the mind, we should take seriously the backup view, a hypothesis (...)
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  9. Determined by Reasons: A Competence Account of Acting for a Normative Reason, by Susanne Mantel. Review for Mind. [REVIEW]Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - Mind.
    A review of Susanne Mantel's book, Determined by Reasons (Routledge).
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  10. Elusive Reasons and the Motivational Constraint.Benjamin Rossi - forthcoming - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
    The motivational constraint on normative reasons says that a consideration is a normative reason for an agent to act only if it is logically possible for the agent to act for that reason, or at least to be moved so to act. The claim figures Zelig-like in philosophical debates about practical reasons: on hand, occasionally prominent, but never the focus of discussion. However, because it is entailed by a number of prominent views about normative reasons—including various forms of internalism and (...)
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  11. Do We Love For Reasons?Yongming Han - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (1):106-126.
    Do we love for reasons? It can seem as if we do, since most cases of non‐familial love seem *selective*: coming to love a non‐family‐member often begins with our being drawn to them for what they are like. I argue, however, that we can vindicate love's selectivity, even if we maintain that there are no reasons for love; indeed, that gives us a simpler, and hence better, explanation of love's selectivity. We don't, in short, come to love *for* reasons. That (...)
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  12. Misinformation, Subjectivism, and the Rational Criticizability of Desire.Jay Jian - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):845-866.
    Orthodox Humeans about normative reasons for action believe that there are no rational principles governing the substantive content of desire. But they also believe that desires with misinformed content should be rejected and cannot be the proper subjective sources of normative reasons for action. These two ideas, I argue, in fact stand in tension with each other: The Humean rejection of misinformed desire actually has to invoke a feasibility principle for desire, a semi-substantive rational principle that is already built into (...)
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  13. Practical Expressivism.Neil Sinclair - 2021 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    What is morality? In Practical Expressivism, I argue that morality is a purely natural interpersonal co-ordination device, whereby human beings express their attitudes in order to influence the attitudes and actions of others. -/- The ultimate goal of these expressions is to find acceptable ways of living together. This 'expressivist' model for understanding morality faces well-known challenges concerning 'saving the appearances' of morality, because morality presents itself to us as a practice of objective discovery, not pure expression. -/- This book (...)
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  14. Metaethical Intentionalism and the Intersubjectivity of Morals.Kyle Ferguson - 2020 - Dissertation, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
    I defend a thesis called metaethical intentionalism, according to which deontic moral judgments (“ought” judgments) are intersubjective intentions or verbal expressions of intersubjective intentions. They have the form, “We shall any of us do A in C,” or are derivable from such practical commitments. They are universalizable by virtue of their content (“… any of us …”) and sharable by virtue of their form (“We …”). My account of the moral “ought” is inspired by the moral writings of Wilfrid Sellars (...)
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  15. Future Desires, the Agony Argument, and Subjectivism About Reasons.Eden Lin - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (1):95-130.
    Extant discussions of subjectivism about reasons for action have concentrated on presentist versions of the theory, on which reasons for present actions are grounded in present desires. In this article, I motivate and investigate the prospects of futurist subjectivism, on which reasons for present actions are grounded in present or future desires. Futurist subjectivism promises to answer Parfit's Agony Argument, and it is motivated by natural extensions of some of the considerations that support subjectivism in general. However, it faces a (...)
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  16. Merleau-Ponty, Moral Perception, and Metaethical Internalism.Bryan Lueck - 2020 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 34 (3):265-273.
    Two of the most basic commitments of virtue ethics, both ancient and contemporary, are that virtue is knowledge and that this knowledge is a kind of moral sensitivity that is best understood on the model of perception. On this account, the virtuous agent perceives moral goodness and badness in something like the way we perceive that a smiling person is happy or that a raging bull is dangerous. This is opposed to the more widely held view of moral experience, according (...)
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  17. Subjectivism, Instrumentalism, and Prudentialism About Reasons: On the Normativity of Instrumental Transmission.Arash Abizadeh - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (2):387-402.
    According to a subjectivist theory, normative reasons are grounded in facts about our desires. According to an instrumentalist theory, reasons are grounded also in facts about the relevant means to desired objects. These are distinct theories. The widespread tendency to conflate the normativity of subjective and instrumentalist precepts obscures two facts. First, instrumentalist precepts incorporate a subjective element with an objective one. Second, combining these elements into a single theory of normative reasons requires explaining how and why they are to (...)
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  18. From Valuing to Value: A Defense of Subjectivism. [REVIEW]Samuel Asarnow - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (2):246-249.
  19. Internal Reasons and the Boy Who Cried Wolf.Samuel Asarnow - 2019 - Ethics 130 (1):32-58.
    Reasons internalists claim that facts about normative reasons for action are facts about which actions would promote an agent’s goals and values. Reasons internalism is popular, even though paradigmatic versions have moral consequences many find unwelcome. This article reconstructs an influential but understudied argument for reasons internalism, the “if I were you” argument, which is due to Bernard Williams and Kate Manne. I raise an objection to the argument and argue that replying to it requires reasons internalists to accept controversial (...)
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  20. Reasons and Theories of Sensory Affect.Murat Aydede & Matthew Fulkerson - 2019 - In David Bain, Michael Brady & Jennifer Corns (eds.), The Philosophy of Pain: Unpleasantness, Emotion, and Deviance. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 27-59.
    Some sensory experiences are pleasant, some unpleasant. This is a truism. But understanding what makes these experiences pleasant and unpleasant is not an easy job. Various difficulties and puzzles arise as soon as we start theorizing. There are various philosophical theories on offer that seem to give different accounts for the positive or negative affective valences of sensory experiences. In this paper, we will look at the current state of art in the philosophy of mind, present the main contenders, critically (...)
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  21. Pragmatic Encroachment and Practical Reasons.Anne Baril - 2019 - In Brian Kim & Matthew McGrath (eds.), Pragmatic Encroachment in Epistemology. Routledge.
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  22. The Epistemic Norm of Inference and Non-Epistemic Reasons for Belief.Patrick Bondy - 2019 - Synthese (2):1-21.
    There is an important disagreement in contemporary epistemology over the possibility of non-epistemic reasons for belief. Many epistemologists argue that non-epistemic reasons cannot be good or normative reasons for holding beliefs: non-epistemic reasons might be good reasons for a subject to bring herself to hold a belief, the argument goes, but they do not offer any normative support for the belief itself. Non-epistemic reasons, as they say, are just the wrong kind of reason for belief. Other epistemologists, however, argue that (...)
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  23. Proceso, Evolución y Acción.Miguel Cabrera Machado - 2019 - XII Jornadas de Investigación y I Jornadas de Extensión de la Facultad de Humanidades y Educación. 25-29 Noviembre 2019.
    A través de un relato mítico inspirado en el "Mito de Jones", escrito por Wilfrid Sellars, se ilustra la posibilidad de que los conceptos morales, aprendidos simultáneamente con el aprendizaje del lenguaje, sean el producto de la evolución. El mecanismo principal, plausiblemente no el único, es el de refuerzo y sanción de los actos verbales y no verbales. Algunas conductas son reforzadas y tenidas como “buenas” y otras sancionadas como “malas”, durante un proceso de aprendizaje que tiene tanto episodios de (...)
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  24. Taking Prudence Seriously.Guy Fletcher - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 14:70-94.
    Philosophers have long theorized about which things make people’s lives go well, and why, and the extent to which morality and self-interest can be reconciled. Yet little time has been spent on meta-prudential questions, questions about prudential discourse. This is surprising given that prudence is, prima facie, a normative form of discourse and, as such, cries out for further investigation. Chapter 4 takes up two major meta-prudential questions. It first examines whether there is a set of prudential reasons, generated by (...)
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  25. David Sobel, From Valuing to Value: A Defense of Subjectivism , Pp. Vii + 312. [REVIEW]Owen C. King - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (2):203-207.
    This is a review of David Sobel's monograph, From Valuing to Value: A Defense of Subjectivism.
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  26. The Case for Stance Dependent Reasons.David Sobel - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 15 (2).
    Many philosophers maintain that neither one’s reasons for action nor well-being are ever grounded in facts about what we desire or favor. Yet our reasons to eat a flavor of ice cream we like rather than one we do not seem an obvious counter-example. I argue that there is no getting around such examples and that therefore a fully stance independent account of the grounding of our reasons is implausible. At least in matters of mere taste our “stance” plays a (...)
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  27. Remarks on the Biology, Psychology and Politics of Religion.Michael Richard Starks - 2019 - Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press.
    In my view all behavior is an expression of our evolved psychology and so intimately connected to religion, morals and ethics, if one knows how to look at them. -/- Many will find it strange that I spend little time discussing the topics common to most discussions of religion, but in my view it is essential to first understand the generalities of behavior and this necessitates a good understanding of biology and psychology which are mostly noticeable by their absence in (...)
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  28. An Ecumenical Account of Categorical Moral Reasons.Caj Strandberg - 2019 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 16 (2):160-188.
    According to an influential way of understanding the debate between internalism and externalism about normative reasons, these theories confront us with a dilemma. Internalism is taken to involve a view about rationality which is considered less philosophically problematic than its competitors, whereas externalism is taken to suggest a more contentious view concerning this notion. However, the assumption that externalism involves a more demanding notion of rationality implies that it is able to account for categorical moral reasons, whereas internalism is unable (...)
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  29. Racje wewnętrzne i zewnętrzne.Bernard Williams & Tomasz Żuradzki - 2019 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 67 (1):231-246.
    Artykuł, opublikowany po raz pierwszy w 1979 r., jest jednym z najczęściej cytowanych tekstów filozoficznych z drugiej połowy XX wieku. Tekst Bernarda Williamsa zainicjował kilka ważnych debat, toczących się do dziś w etyce i filozofii działania. Zaproponowana przez niego interpretacja pojęcia racji działania jest, z jednej strony, niezwykle wpływowa, ale z drugiej bardzo niejednoznaczna i często krytykowana. Williams broni stanowiska, które z czasem zaczęto określać jako internalizm racji: pewne względy są racjami działania dla danego podmiotu tylko wtedy, gdy mają ścisły (...)
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  30. Reasons in Moral Philosophy.Carla Bagnoli - 2018 - In G. Bongiovanni, Don Postema, A. Rotolo, G. Sartor, C. Valentini & D. Walton (eds.), Handbook in Legal Reasoning and Argumentation. New York: Springer.
  31. From Valuing to Value: A Defense of Subjectivism By David Sobel. [REVIEW]Luke Elson - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):583-586.
    Book review of David Sobel's "From Valuing to Value: A Defense of Subjectivism".
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  32. The Long Way to “Extreme Psychologism”.Seyyed Mohsen Eslami - 2018 - South African Journal of Philosophy 37 (2):171-177.
  33. Are There Distinctively Moral Reasons?Andrew T. Forcehimes & Luke Semrau - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (3):699-717.
    A dogma of contemporary normative theorizing holds that some reasons are distinctively moral while others are not. Call this view Reasons Pluralism. This essay looks at four approaches to vindicating the apparent distinction between moral and non-moral reasons. In the end, however, all are found wanting. Though not dispositive, the failure of these approaches supplies strong evidence that the dogma of Reasons Pluralism is ill-founded.
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  34. Internalism, Factivity, and Sufficient Reason.Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa - 2018 - In Veli Mitova (ed.), The Factive Turn in Epistemology. Cambridge University Press.
    How radical is the idea that reasons are factive? Some philosophers consider it a dramatic departure from orthodoxy, with surprising implications about the bearing of the external world on what credences it’s reasonable to have, what beliefs are epistemically appropriate, and what actions are rational. I deny these implications. In the cases where external matters imply differences in factive states, there will inevitably be important weaker factive states in common. For example, someone who knows it is raining has many factive (...)
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  35. Simple Probabilistic Promotion.Eden Lin - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (2):360-379.
    Many believe that normative reasons for action are necessarily connected with the promotion of certain states of affairs: on Humean views, for example, there is a reason for you to do something if and only if it would promote the object of one of your desires. But although promotion is widely invoked in discussions of reasons, its nature is a matter of controversy. I propose a simple account: to promote a state of affairs is to make it more likely to (...)
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  36. Subjective Unpossessed Reasons.Arturs Logins - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (4):262-270.
    A common assumption in contemporary debates about normative reasons is that ‘subjective’ and ‘possessed’ are two names for the same sort of reason. This paper challenges that assumption. Given our cognitive limitations, it is unsurprising that normative reasons that derive from what we know and reasons that we are in a position to use in our deliberation are not always one and the same.
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  37. Humean Nature: How Desire Explains Action, Thought, and Feeling, by Neil Sinhababu.Karl Schafer - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):919-928.
    Humean Nature: How Desire Explains Action, Thought, and Feeling, by Neil Sinhababu. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp. ix + 224.
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  38. The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity.Daniel Star (ed.) - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    This Handbook maps a central terrain of philosophy, and provides the definitive guide to it. An illustrious team of philosophers explore the concept of a reason to do or believe something, in order to determine what these reasons are and how they work. And they investigate the nature of 'normative' claims about what we ought to do or believe.
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  39. Towards an Ecumenical Theory of Normative Reasons.Caj Sixten Strandberg - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (1):69-100.
    A theory of normative reasons for action faces the fundamental challenge of accounting for the dual nature of reasons. On the one hand, some reasons appear to depend on, and vary with, desires. On the other hand, some reasons appear categorical in the sense of being desire‐independent. However, it has turned out to be difficult to provide a theory that accommodates both these aspects. Internalism is able to account for the former aspect, but has difficulties to account for the latter, (...)
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  40. The Authority of Formality.Jack Woods - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13.
    Etiquette and other merely formal normative standards like legality, honor, and rules of games are taken less seriously than they should be. While these standards are not intrinsically reason-providing in the way morality is often taken to be, they also play an important role in our practical lives: we collectively treat them as important for assessing the behavior of ourselves and others and as licensing particular forms of sanction for violations. This chapter develops a novel account of the normativity of (...)
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  41. The Reasoning View and Defeasible Practical Reasoning.Samuel Asarnow - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (3):614-636.
    According to the Reasoning View about normative reasons, facts about normative reasons for action can be understood in terms of facts about the norms of practical reasoning. I argue that this view is subject to an overlooked class of counterexamples, familiar from debates about Subjectivist theories of normative reasons. Strikingly, the standard strategy Subjectivists have used to respond to this problem cannot be adapted to the Reasoning View. I think there is a solution to this problem, however. I argue that (...)
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  42. Properly Proleptic Blame.Benjamin Bagley - 2017 - Ethics 127 (4):852-882.
    Crucially, blame can be addressed to its targets, as an implicit demand for recognition. But when we ask whether offenders would actually appreciate this demand, via a sound deliberative route from their existing motivations, we face a puzzle. If they would, their offense reflects a deliberative mistake, and blame’s hostility seems unnecessary. If they wouldn’t, addressing them is futile, and blame’s emotional engagement seems unwarranted. To resolve this puzzle, I develop an account of blame as a proleptic response to indeterminacy (...)
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  43. Review of David Sobel's From Valuing to Value. [REVIEW]Ben Bramble - 2017 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 201705:2017.05.13.
  44. Recent Work on Internal and External Reasons.John Brunero - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (2):99-118.
    This paper examines some recent arguments for internalism that (i) appeal to an analogy between practical and theoretical reasons, (ii) look toward our practices of reasoning with others, or (iii) tie reasons to good deliberation. The conclusion of this paper is a skeptical one: none of these new arguments gives us sufficient reason to think that internalism is true.
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  45. Self-Validation and Internalism in Velleman’s Constitutivism.Michael Bukoski - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2667-2686.
    Metaethical constitutivists explain reasons or normativity in terms of what is constitutive of agency. In Velleman’s paradigmatic constitutivist theory, that is the aim of self-understanding. The best-known objection to constitutivism is Enoch’s shmagency objection: constitutivism cannot explain normativity because a constitutive aim of agency lacks normative significance unless one has reason to be an agent rather than a “shmagent”. In response, Velleman argues that the constitutive aim is self-validating. I argue that this claim is false. If the constitutive aim of (...)
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  46. How and Why Knowledge is First.Clayton Littlejohn - 2017 - In A. Carter, E. Gordon & B. Jarvis (eds.), Knowledge First. Oxford University Press. pp. 19-45.
    A defense of the idea that knowledge is first in the sense that there is nothing prior to knowledge that puts reasons or evidence in your possession. Includes a critical discussion of the idea that perception or perceptual experience might provide reasons and a defense of a knowledge-first approach to justified belief.
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  47. Believable Evidence.Veli Mitova - 2017 - Cambridge University Press.
    Believable Evidence argues that evidence consists of true beliefs. This claim opens up an entirely overlooked space on the ontology of evidence map, between purely factualist positions and purely psychologist ones. Veli Mitova provides a compelling three-level defence of this view in the first contemporary monograph entirely devoted to the ontology of evidence. First, once we see the evidence as a good reason, metaethical considerations show that the evidence must be psychological and veridical. Second, true belief in particular allows epistemologists (...)
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  48. Reasons Internalism and the Function of Normative Reasons.Neil Sinclair - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (2):209-229.
    What is the connection between reasons and motives? According to Reasons Internalism there is a non-trivial conceptual connection between normative reasons and the possibility of rationally accessing relevant motivation. Reasons Internalism is attractive insofar as it captures the thought that reasons are for reasoning with and repulsive insofar as it fails to generate sufficient critical distance between reasons and motives. Rather than directly adjudicate this dispute, I extract from it two generally accepted desiderata on theories of normative reasons and argue (...)
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  49. A Puzzle About Reasons and Rationality.Caj Strandberg - 2017 - The Journal of Ethics 21 (1):63-88.
    According to a guiding idea in metaethics, there is a necessary link between the concept of normative reasons and the concept of practical rationality. This notion brings up two issues: The exact nature of this link, and the nature of rationality. With regard to the first issue, the debate is dominated by a certain standard claim. With regard to the second issue, the debate is dominated by what I will refer to as ‘subjectivism’ and ‘objectivism’ about rationality, where the latter (...)
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  50. Perspectivism and the Argument From Guidance.Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (2):361-374.
    Perspectivists hold that what you ought to do is determined by your perspective, that is, your epistemic position. Objectivists hold that what you ought to do is determined by the facts irrespective of your perspective. This paper explores an influential argument for perspectivism which appeals to the thought that the normative is action guiding. The crucial premise of the argument is that you ought to φ only if you are able to φ for the reasons which determine that you ought (...)
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