About this topic
Summary Discussions of moral reasons and reasoning occur in action theory, moral epistemology, meta-ethics, and normative ethics. The papers listed here as laying claim to this categorization therefore represent a broad array of ongoing conversations in philosophy. They ask questions like the following: how do agents apprehend and respond to (weigh, sort, disregard) moral reasons when deliberating about what to do? What is the best way of modeling reasoning in situations of moral conflict? Does moral reasoning include learning from experience, inculcating habits, or changing one's mind? Are moral reasons and their uptake meaningfully distinct from other sorts of practical reasons, and if so, how might this matter?
Key works Some of the most important conversations about moral reasons have been initiated and continued by the work of Joseph Raz, especially (Raz 1975Raz 1999, and Raz 2001).
Introductions The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Moral Reasoning (Richardson 2013) provides an overview of some key issues.
Related categories

261 found
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1 — 50 / 261
  1. added 2020-05-08
    Morality and Practical Reasons.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
    As Socrates famously noted, there is perhaps no more important question than how we ought to live. And the answer to this question depends on how the reasons that we have for living in various different ways combine and compete. To illustrate, suppose that I’ve just received a substantial raise from my employer. What should I do with the extra money? It seems that I have most moral reason to donate it to effective charities but most self-interested reason to spend (...)
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  2. added 2020-05-05
    Coetzee and Eros: A Critique of Moral Philosophy.Eileen John - 2017 - In Beyond the Ancient Quarrel: Literature, Philosophy, and J. M. Coetzee. Oxford, UK: pp. 107-22.
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  3. added 2020-04-30
    Immorality and Irrationality.Alex Worsnip* - forthcoming - Philosophical Perspectives.
    Does immorality necessarily involve irrationality? The question is often taken to be among the deepest in moral philosophy. But apparently deep questions sometimes admit of deflationary answers. In this case we can make way for a deflationary answer by appealing to dualism about rationality, according to which there are two fundamentally distinct notions of rationality: structural rationality and substantive rationality. I have defended dualism elsewhere. Here, I’ll argue that it allows us to embrace a sensible – I will not say (...)
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  4. added 2020-04-29
    Decyzje w sytuacjach niepewności normatywnej.Tomasz Żuradzki - forthcoming - Przeglad Filozoficzny - Nowa Seria.
    Etycy nie poświęcali dotąd wiele uwagi niepewności, koncentrując się często na skrajnie wyidealizowanych hipotetycznych sytuacjach, w których zarówno kwestie empiryczne (np. stan świata, spektrum możliwych decyzji oraz ich konsekwencje, związki przyczynowe między zdarzeniami), jak i normatywne (np. treść norm, skale wartości) były jasno określone i znane podmiotowi. W poniższym artykule – który jest rezultatem projektu dotyczącego różnych typów decyzji w sytuacjach niepewności związanej z postępem w naukach i technologiach biomedycznych – przedstawię analizę sytuacji niepewności normatywnej, czyli takich, w których podmiot (...)
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  5. added 2020-04-23
    Christine Korsgaard’s Self-Constitution.Randall Harp & Terence Cuneo - 2014 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 11 (1):97-110.
    Christine Korsgaard’s 1996 book, The Sources of Normativity, attracted a great deal of attention. And rightly so. It is a highly engaging attempt to answer what she calls the normative question, which is the question of what could justify morality’s demands. Korsgaard’s latest book, Self-Constitution, develops and defends the broadly Kantian account of action and agency that hovers in the background of Sources, drawing out its implications for the normative question. In this review, we present the main lines of argument (...)
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  6. added 2020-04-23
    WELLMAN, Carl: Challenge and Response. [REVIEW]A. J. Watt - 1972 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 50:288.
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  7. added 2020-04-21
    Knowledge of Objective 'Oughts': Monotonicity and the New Miners Puzzle.Daniel Muñoz & Jack Spencer - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    In the classic Miners case, an agent subjectively ought to do what they know is objectively wrong. This case shows that the subjective and objective ‘oughts’ are somewhat independent. But there remains a powerful intuition that the guidance of objective ‘oughts’ is more authoritative—so long as we know what they tell us. We argue that this intuition must be given up in light of a monotonicity principle, which undercuts the rationale for saying that objective ‘oughts’ are an authoritative guide for (...)
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  8. added 2020-04-19
    A Millian Objection to Reasons as Evidence.Guy Fletcher - 2013 - Utilitas 25 (3):417-420.
    Stephen Kearns and Daniel Star have recently proposed this thesis: [Reasons as Evidence: Necessarily, a fact F is a reason for an agent A to PHI.
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  9. added 2020-02-20
    Rawls’s Justification Model for Ethics: What Exactly Justifies the Model?Necip Fikri Alican - 2020 - Dialogue and Universalism 30 (1):171–190.
    This is a defense of Rawls against recent criticism, ironically my own, though it is also a critique insofar as it addresses a problem that Rawls never does. As a defense, it is not a retraction of the original charges. As a critique, it is not more of the same op-position. In either capacity, it is not an afterthought. The charges were conceived from the outset with a specific solution in mind, which would have been too distracting to pursue in (...)
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  10. added 2020-02-12
    Primary Reasons as Normative Reasons.Nathan Robert Howard - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    I argue that Davidson's conception of motivating reasons as belief-desire pairs suggests a model of normative reasons for action that is superior to the orthodox conception according to which normative reasons are propositions, facts, or the truth-makers of such facts.
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  11. added 2020-01-31
    The Possibility of Moral Dilemmas Based on Arguments form Emotional Experience.Zahra Khazaei - 2019 - Metaphysics 11 (27):95-110.
    Moral dilemmas are situations in which the agents are provided by two conflicting moral judgments but it's not possible for them to act upon both judgments at the same time. Proponents of moral dilemmas say that agents in conflicting situations, have to act in a way that it is morally wrong. Agents will experience negative feelings such as guilt, regret and remorse, no matter which alternative is chosen by them. Opponents, on the other hand, argue in contrary and say that (...)
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  12. added 2020-01-06
    Self-Interest: What's in It for Me?*: David Schmidtz.David Schmidtz - 1997 - Social Philosophy and Policy 14 (1):107-121.
    We have taken the “why be moral?” question so seriously for so long. It suggests that we lack faith in the rationality of morality. The relative infrequency with which we ask “why be prudent?” suggests that we have no corresponding lack of faith in the rationality of prudence. Indeed, we have so much faith in the rationality of prudence that to question it by asking “why be prudent?” sounds like a joke. Nevertheless, our reasons and motives to be prudent are (...)
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  13. added 2019-11-22
    Guilt Feelings and the Intelligibility of Moral Duties.Andrew Tice Ingram - 2020 - Ratio 33 (1):56-67.
    G.E.M. Anscombe argued that we should dispense with deontic concepts when doing ethics, if it is psychologically possible to do so. In response, I contend that deontic concepts are constitutive of the common moral experience of guilt. This has two consequences for Anscombe's position. First, seeing that guilt is a deontic emotion, we should recognize that Anscombe's qualification on her thesis applies: psychologically, we need deontology to understand our obligations and hence whether our guilt is warranted. Second, the fact that (...)
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  14. added 2019-11-08
    Anscombe on the Philosophy of Psychology as Propaedeutic to Ethics.Sergio Volodia Marcello Cremaschi - 2014 - In Matteo Galletti (ed.), La mente morale. Persone, ragioni, virtù. Rome, Italy: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura. pp. 17-62.
    The chapter reconstructs and criticizes one of Anscombe's famous three these, namely the claim that a ‘philosophy of psychology’ is a preliminary task to the construction of any possible ethical theory, or that moral philosophy ‘should be laid aside at any rate until we have an adequate philosophy of psychology, in which we are conspicuously lacking’. The claim is that Anscombe’s idea of a philosophy of psychology cannot be simply identified with that of moral psychology with which we are familiar (...)
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  15. added 2019-10-20
    Daniel Kelly: Yuck! The Nature and Moral Significance of Disgust. [REVIEW]Tom Cochrane - 2011 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 11 (37).
    I review Daniel Kelly's 2011 book on disgust. I am convinced by his arguments that disgust should not be appealed to in moral judgement. I am bit more sceptical about the model of disgust itself.
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  16. added 2019-09-27
    Levinas and Analytic Philosophy: An Ethical Metaphysics of Reasons.Kevin Houser - 2018 - In Michael L. Morgan (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Levinas. pp. 587-614.
    Recent analytic philosophy often explains our responsibility to one another in terms of normative reasons. Emmanuel Levinas thinks this is backwards. We are not responsible to one another because we have reasons to be. For reasons are themselves something we are responsible to one another to have; and it is only because we are responsible to one another for them that we are able to have our own reasons. Put broadly: Reasons-responsiveness is a form of responsiveness to persons. Standard reasons-first (...)
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  17. added 2019-09-11
    Rationalism, Optimism, and the Moral Mind.Quinn Hiroshi Gibson - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42.
    I welcome many of the conclusions of May's book, but I offer a suggestion – and with it what I take to be a complementary strategy – concerning the core commitments of rationalism across the domains of moral psychology in the hopes of better illuminating why a rationalist picture of the mind can deliver us from pessimism.
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  18. added 2019-07-29
    Kieran Setiya: Practical Knowledge: New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. Hardcover £56/74$. 308 pages.István Zoltán Zárdai - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (4):1019-1020.
    Review of Setiya's collection of essays titled Practical Knowledge.
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  19. added 2019-07-15
    Honour (Draft of Entry for Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy).Dan Demetriou - manuscript
    Given its psychological and sociological importance, especially in non-liberal societies, honor may be the most undertheorized normative phenomenon. Philosophical neglect of honor is due partly to the doubtful moral bona fides of honor: honor-typical motives have been usually viewed by philosophers in both the Christian and liberal West as either non-moral or immoral but replaced by morally sounder ones. More practically, honor (and what is usually translated into the English “honor”) connotes a number of apparently contradictory meanings, further bedeviling analyses. (...)
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  20. added 2019-07-02
    Determined by Reasons: A Competence Account of Acting for a Normative Reason.Susanne Mantel - 2018 - New York, USA: Routledge.
    This book offers a new account of what it is to act for a normative reason. The first part of the book examines the problems of causal accounts of acting for reasons and suggests to solve them by a dispositional approach. The author argues for a dispositional account which unites epistemic, volitional, and executional dispositions in a complex normative competence. This ‘Normative Competence Account’ allows for more and less reflective ways of acting for normative reasons. The second part of the (...)
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  21. added 2019-06-20
    Functional Constitutivism’s Misunderstood Resources: A Limited Defense of Smith’s Constitutivism.Kathryn Lindeman - 2019 - Ethics 130 (1):79-91.
    In recent work, Michael Smith argues that particular desires are constitutive of ideal agency and draws on his dispositional account of reasons to establish the normative significance of those desires. In a sustained critique, Michael Bukowski objects that Smith’s recent arguments that particular desires are constitutive of ideal agency rely on indefensible premises and his dispositional account of reasons is unable to establish the normative significance of such desires. On the contrary, I argue not only that Smith has the resources (...)
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  22. added 2019-06-19
    Are Medical Ethicists Out of Touch? Practitioner Attitudes in the US and UK Towards Decisions at the End of Life.Donna Dickenson - 2000 - Journal of Medical Ethics 26 (4):254-260.
    To assess whether UK and US health care professionals share the views of medical ethicists about medical futility, withdrawing/withholding treatment, ordinary/extraordinary interventions, and the doctrine of double effect. A 138-item attitudinal questionnaire completed by 469 UK nurses studying the Open University course on "Death and Dying" was compared with a similar questionnaire administered to 759 US nurses and 687 US doctors taking the Hastings Center course on "Decisions near the End of Life". Practitioners accept the relevance of concepts widely disparaged (...)
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  23. added 2019-06-18
    Constructivism, Intersubjectivity, Provability, and Triviality.Andrea Guardo - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (4):515-527.
    Sharon Street defines her constructivism about practical reasons as the view that whether something is a reason to do a certain thing for a given agent depends on that agent’s normative point of view. However, Street has also maintained that there is a judgment about practical reasons which is true relative to every possible normative point of view, namely constructivism itself. I show that the latter thesis is inconsistent with Street’s own constructivism about epistemic reasons and discuss some consequences of (...)
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  24. added 2019-06-09
    Making Sense of the Sentence.Daniel Coren - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Research 43:205-222.
    Early on in his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle argues that there must be a single end or good desired for its own sake, for the sake of which all of our other ends are desired. The argument includes the following conditional: “If we chose everything for the sake of something else so that the process went on forever, then our desire would be empty and futile.” This paper addresses that conditional. First, I explain why the conditional appears to be false. Second, (...)
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  25. added 2019-06-06
    Vulnerability and the Incompleteness of Practical Reason.Carla Bagnoli - 2016 - In Christine Strahele (ed.), Vulnerability, Autonomy and Applied Ethics. London: Routledge. pp. 13-32.
    In this chapter, I examine the concept of vulnerability as a complex constitutive feature of human agency and argue that it is both a constraint on and a resource for practical reasoning. When discussed as an ontological feature of human agency, vulnerability is primarily understood as an aspect of embodiment, which is problematic in different respects. First, in relation to the situatedness of human agency, vulnerability indicates that human agents are subjected to contextual contingencies. Second, in relation to temporality, vulnerability (...)
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  26. added 2019-06-06
    Review of Derek Parfit, On What Matters. [REVIEW]Jonathan Anomaly - 2013 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (3):358-360.
  27. added 2019-06-06
    Making Room for Options: Moral Reasons, Imperfect Duties, and Choice: Patricia Greenspan.Patricia Greenspan - 2010 - Social Philosophy and Policy 27 (2):181-205.
    An imperfect duty such as the duty to aid those in need is supposed to leave leeway for choice as to how to satisfy it, but if our reason for a certain way of satisfying it is our strongest, that leeway would seem to be eliminated. This paper defends a conception of practical reasons designed to preserve it, without slighting the binding force of moral requirements, though it allows us to discount certain moral reasons. Only reasons that offer criticism of (...)
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  28. added 2019-06-06
    Rational Choice for Machines: A Research Program for Normative Philosophy. [REVIEW]Christopher W. Morris - 1997 - Dialogue 36 (3):623-632.
    Why be moral? The question is very old. It takes many forms and is subject to many interpretations. On one interpretation, the question does not make sense ; to ask it is evidence of misunderstanding. This view is not as popular as it once was. The more fashionable answer today is that we have reasons to be moral. These reasons may themselves be moral, or they may be non-moral. In the first case, we may not have the answer we wanted (...)
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  29. added 2019-04-27
    Measuring Moral Reasoning Using Moral Dilemmas: Evaluating Reliability, Validity, and Differential Item Functioning of the Behavioral Defining Issues Test (bDIT).Youn-Jeng Choi, Hyemin Han, Kelsie J. Dawson, Stephen J. Thoma & Andrea L. Glenn - 2019 - European Journal of Developmental Psychology 16 (5):622-631.
    We evaluated the reliability, validity, and differential item functioning (DIF) of a shorter version of the Defining Issues Test-1 (DIT-1), the behavioral DIT (bDIT), measuring the development of moral reasoning. 353 college students (81 males, 271 females, 1 not reported; age M = 18.64 years, SD = 1.20 years) who were taking introductory psychology classes at a public University in a suburb area in the Southern United States participated in the present study. First, we examined the reliability of the bDIT (...)
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  30. added 2019-04-18
    III—Normative Facts and Reasons.Fabienne Peter - 2019 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 119 (1):53-75.
    The main aim of this paper is to identify a type of fact-given warrant for action that is distinct from reason-based justification for action and defend the view that there are two types of practical warrant. The idea that there are two types of warrant is familiar in epistemology, but has not received much attention in debates on practical normativity. On the view that I will defend, normative facts, qua facts, give rise to entitlement warrant for action. But they do (...)
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  31. added 2019-04-12
    Review of Moral Particularism (Ed. Brad Hooker and Margaret Little). [REVIEW]Pekka Väyrynen - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (3):478.
    This is a short review of Moral Particularism, ed. Brad Hooker and Margaret Little (Oxford University Press, 2002).
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  32. added 2019-03-01
    Thinking About Morality.Sarah Sawyer - 2017 - The Forum For Philosophy: Essays.
    Sarah Sawyer on concepts and the objectivity of moral reasons.
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  33. added 2019-02-03
    Moral Hedging and Responding to Reasons.Amelia Hicks - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):765-789.
    In this paper, I argue that the fetishism objection to moral hedging fails. The objection rests on a reasons-responsiveness account of moral worth, according to which an action has moral worth only if the agent is responsive to moral reasons. However, by adopting a plausible theory of non-ideal moral reasons, one can endorse a reasons-responsiveness account of moral worth while maintaining that moral hedging is sometimes an appropriate response to moral uncertainty. Thus, the theory of moral worth upon which the (...)
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  34. added 2018-12-31
    Narrative, Casuistry, and the Function of Conscience in Thomas Aquinas.Stephen Chanderbhan - 2016 - Diametros 47:1-18.
    Both the function of one’s conscience, as Thomas Aquinas understands it, and the work of casuistry in general involve deliberating about which universal moral principles are applicable in particular cases. Thus, understanding how conscience can function better also indicates how casuistry might be done better – both on Thomistic terms, at least. I claim that, given Aquinas’ descriptions of certain parts of prudence and the role of moral virtue in practical knowledge, understanding particular cases more as narratives, or parts of (...)
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  35. added 2018-12-31
    Aquinas and the Natural Habit of Synderesis: A Response to Celano.Lisa Holdsworth - 2016 - Diametros 47:35-49.
    Anthony Celano argues that after Thomas Aquinas the flexibility of Aristotle’s ethics gives way to the universal codes of Christian morality. His argument posits that the Schoolmen adopted a line of moral reasoning that follows a Platonic tradition of taking universal moral principles as the basis of moral reasoning. While Thomas does work in a tradition that, resemblant of the Platonic tradition, incorporates inerrant principles of moral reasoning in the habit of _synderesis_, his understanding of those principles is distinctly Aristotelian (...)
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  36. added 2018-11-01
    Reasons Probably Won’T Change Your Mind: The Role of Reasons in Revising Moral Decisions.Matthew L. Stanley, Ashley M. Dougherty, Brenda W. Yang, Paul Henne & Felipe De Brigard - 2018 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 147 (7):962-987.
    Although many philosophers argue that making and revising moral decisions ought to be a matter of deliberating over reasons, the extent to which the consideration of reasons informs people’s moral decisions and prompts them to change their decisions remains unclear. Here, after making an initial decision in 2-option moral dilemmas, participants examined reasons for only the option initially chosen(affirming reasons), reasons for only the option not initially chosen (opposing reasons), or reasons for both options. Although participants were more likely to (...)
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  37. added 2018-09-24
    Using Benevolent Affections to Learn Our Duty.Marina Folescu - 2018 - Mind 127 (506):467-489.
    The puzzle is this: I argue that for Reid, moral sense needs benevolent affections – i.e. some of our animal, non-cognitive principles of action – to apply the rules of duty. But he also thinks that duty can conflict with benevolent affections. So what happens in these conflict cases? I will argue that Reid takes moral psychology seriously and that he believes that our natural benevolent affections can be used as indicators of duty. Although creative, his account has a major (...)
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  38. added 2018-09-24
    Motivation and Motivating Reason.Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen - 2013 - In Christer Svennerlind, Jan Almäng & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Johanssonian Investigations. Essays in Honour of Ingvar Johansson on His Seventieth Birthday. Ontos Verlag. pp. 464--485.
    For quite some time now philosophers have stressed the need to distinguish between explanatory (motivating) reasons and justifying (good) reasons. The distinction is often illustrated with an example of someone doing something that is intended to strike the reader or listener, at least at the outset, as incomprehensible. The story of Abraham on Mount Moriah, who decided to sacrifice his son, Isaac, illustrates this pattern. Killing one’s own child is a horrific thing to do, and it is hard to understand (...)
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  39. added 2018-09-17
    It Only Takes Two to Tango: Against Grounding Morality in Interaction.Sem de Maagt - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (10):2767-2783.
    Most Kantian constructivists try to ground universal duties of interpersonal morality in certain interactions between individuals, such as communication, argumentation, shared action or the second-person standpoint. The goal of this paper is to present these, which I refer to as arguments from the second-person perspective, with a dilemma: either the specific kind of interaction that is taken as a starting point of these arguments is inescapable, but in that case the argument does not justify a universal principle of interpersonal morality. (...)
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  40. added 2018-08-24
    All Reasons Are Moral.Daniel Muñoz - manuscript
    Morality doesn't always require our best. Prudent acts and heroic sacrifices are optional, not obligatory. To explain this, some philosophers claim that reasons of self-interest must have a special "non-moral" significance. A better explanation, I argue, is that we have prerogatives based in rights.
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  41. added 2018-07-30
    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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  42. added 2018-07-09
    Normative Reasons and Theism.Gerald K. Harrison - 2018 - Cham: Palgrave MacMillan.
  43. added 2018-06-22
    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.
  44. added 2018-06-10
    Rawls’s Justification Model for Ethics: What Exactly Does It Justify?Necip Fikri Alican - 2017 - Humanitas (Journal of the National Humanities Institute) 30 (1/2):112–147.
    John Rawls is famous for two things: his attempt to ground morality in rationality and his conception of justice as fairness. He has developed and polished both in conjunction over the course of half a century. Yet the moral principles he advocates have always been more doctrinaire than the corresponding justification model should have ever allowed with design details explicitly promising objectivity. This article goes to the beginning, or to a reasonable proxy for it, in the “Outline of a Decision (...)
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  45. added 2018-03-23
    Moral Bioenhancement, Freedom and Reason.Ingmar Persson & Julian Savulescu - 2016 - Neuroethics 9 (3):263-268.
    In this paper we reply to the most important objections to our advocacy of moral enhancement by biomedical means – moral bioenhancement – that John Harris advances in his new book How to be Good. These objections are to effect that such moral enhancement undercuts both moral reasoning and freedom. The latter objection is directed more specifically at what we have called the God Machine, a super-duper computer which predicts our decisions and prevents decisions to perpertrate morally atrocious acts. In (...)
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  46. added 2018-03-17
    Moral Perception, Cognition, and Dialogue.Vojko Strahovnik - 2016 - Santalka: Filosofija, Komunikacija 24 (1):14-23.
    The aim of the paper is to analyse the concept of moral perception. Moral perception gets characterized as a distinctive, non-inferential moral response to concrete situations. In order to relate moral perception with a suitable model of moral cognition the position labelled morphological rationalism is elaborated. Moral judgment follows a dynamical model of reasons, according to which reasons are situated in an agent’s structured morphological background, chromatically illuminating the judgment. The key claim is that such a model is particularly well-suited (...)
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  47. added 2018-03-09
    Notwendigkeit und Nötigung: Konzeptionelle und moralpsychologische Gründe für eine hybride Theorie des moralischen Sollens.Michael Von Grundherr - 2013 - In Achim Vesper & Eva Buddeberg (eds.), Moral und Sanktion: Eine Kontroverse über die Autorität moralischer Normen. Frankfurt, New York: campus. pp. 53-73.
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  48. added 2018-03-05
    Ethics and Uncertainty: The Guest Editor’s Introduction.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2017 - Diametros 53:1-5.
    Until very recently, normative theorizing in ethics was frequently conducted without even mentioning uncertainty. Just a few years ago, Sven Ove Hansson described this state of affairs with the slogan: “Ethics still lives in a Newtonian world.” In the new Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Probability, David McCarthy writes that “mainstream moral philosophy has not been much concerned with probability,” understanding probability as “the best-known tool for thinking about uncertainty.” This special predilection for certainty in ethics was surprising since most (...)
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  49. added 2018-02-05
    What Is Conventionalism About Moral Rights and Duties?Katharina Nieswandt - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (1):15-28.
    ABSTRACTA powerful objection against moral conventionalism says that it gives the wrong reasons for individual rights and duties. The reason why I must not break my promise to you, for example, should lie in the damage to you—rather than to the practice of promising or to all other participants in that practice. Common targets of this objection include the theories of Hobbes, Gauthier, Hooker, Binmore, and Rawls. I argue that the conventionalism of these theories is superficial; genuinely conventionalist theories are (...)
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  50. added 2018-01-12
    Eliminating Prudential Reasons.Alex Worsnip - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 8:236-257.
    I argue, contrary to the consensus of most contemporary work in ethics, that there are no (fundamentally, distinctively) prudential reasons for action. That is to say: there is no class of reasons for action that is distinctively and fundamentally about the promotion of the agent’s own well-being. Considerations to do with the agent’s well-being can supply the agent with reasons only in virtue of her well-being mattering morally or in virtue of her caring about her own well-being. In both of (...)
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