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  1. Uncertainty in Moral Theory: An Epistemic Defense of Rule-Utilitarian Liberties.Stephen W. Ball - 1990 - Theory and Decision 29 (2):133-160.
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  2. Moral Uncertainty and Permissibility: Evaluating Option Sets.Christian Barry & Patrick Tomlin - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (6):1-26.
    In this essay, we explore an issue of moral uncertainty: what we are permitted to do when we are unsure about which moral principles are correct. We develop a novel approach to this issue that incorporates important insights from previous work on moral uncertainty, while avoiding some of the difficulties that beset existing alternative approaches. Our approach is based on evaluating and choosing between option sets rather than particular conduct options. We show how our approach is particularly well-suited to address (...)
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  3. Moral Disagreement and Epistemic Advantages: A Challenge to McGrath.Sherman Benjamin - 2014 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 8 (3):1-18.
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  4. A Response to Commentators on "Human Embryo Research and the Language of Moral Uncertainty".William P. Cheshire - 2004 - American Journal of Bioethics 4 (1):31-32.
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  5. Human Embryo Research and the Language of Moral Uncertainty.William P. Cheshire - 2004 - American Journal of Bioethics 4 (1):1 – 5.
    In bioethics as in the sciences, enormous discussions often concern the very small. Central to public debate over emerging reproductive and regenerative biotechnologies is the question of the moral status of the human embryo. Because news media have played a prominent role in framing the vocabulary of the debate, this study surveyed the use of language reporting on human embryo research in news articles spanning a two-year period. Terminology that devalued moral status - for example, the descriptors things, property, tissue, (...)
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  6. Does Religion Deserve a Place in Secular Medicine?Brian D. Earp - 2015 - Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (11):865-866.
  7. Moral Deference.David Enoch - manuscript
    Everyone agrees, I think, that there is something fishy about moral deference and expertise, but that's where consensus ends. This paper has two aims – the first is to mount a defense of moral deference, and the second is to offer a (non-debunking) diagnosis of its fishiness. I defend moral deference by connecting the discussion of moral deference to the recent discussion of the appropriate response to uncertainty. It is, I argue, morally obligatory to minimize the risk of one's wrongdoing (...)
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  8. Non-Cognitivism and the Classification Account of Moral Uncertainty.John Eriksson & Ragnar Francén Olinder - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):719-735.
    ABSTRACTIt has been objected to moral non-cognitivism that it cannot account for fundamental moral uncertainty. A person is derivatively uncertain about whether an act is, say, morally wrong, when her certainty is at bottom due to uncertainty about whether the act has certain non-moral, descriptive, properties, which she takes to be wrong-making. She is fundamentally morally uncertain when her uncertainty directly concerns whether the properties of the act are wrong-making. In this paper we advance a new reply to the objection (...)
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  9. On the Noncomparability of Judgments Made by Different Ethical Theories.Edward J. Gracely - 1996 - Metaphilosophy 27 (3):327-332.
    A major focus of ethical argumentation is determining the relative merits of proposed ethical systems. Nevertheless, even the demonstration that a given ethical system was the one most likely to be correct would not establish that an agent should act in accord with that system. Consider, for example, a situation in which the ethical system most likely to be valid is modestly supportive of a certain action, whereas a less plausible system strongly condemns the same action. Should the agent perform (...)
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  10. Human Embryo Research: From Moral Uncertainty to Death.Frederick Grinnell - 2004 - American Journal of Bioethics 4 (1):12 – 13.
    Conventional approaches to pluralistic thinking in bioethics usually attempt in one fashion or another to isolate and choose between the different perspectives. I would argue, however, that the essentialist and existentialist perspectives on the embryo each are internally self-consistent and ethically correct within their own framework and at the same time mutually exclusive. Therefore, we will Žnd no ethical high ground on which to base a choice. Rather, human embryo research will continue to be characterized by a multiplicity of views (...)
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  11. Don't Know, Don't Kill: Moral Ignorance, Culpability, and Caution.Alexander A. Guerrero - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 136 (1):59-97.
    This paper takes on several distinct but related tasks. First, I present and discuss what I will call the “Ignorance Thesis,” which states that whenever an agent acts from ignorance, whether factual or moral, she is culpable for the act only if she is culpable for the ignorance from which she acts. Second, I offer a counterexample to the Ignorance Thesis, an example that applies most directly to the part I call the “Moral Ignorance Thesis.” Third, I argue for a (...)
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  12. In Defence of My Favourite Theory.Johan E. Gustafsson & Olle Torpman - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (2):159–174.
    One of the principles on how to act under moral uncertainty, My Favourite Theory, says roughly that a morally conscientious agent chooses an option that is permitted by the most credible moral theory. In defence of this principle, we argue that it prescribes consistent choices over time, without relying on intertheoretic comparisons of value, while its main rivals are either plagued by moral analogues of money pumps or in need of a method for making non-arbitrary intertheoretic comparisons. We rebut the (...)
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  13. Moral Knowledge and Moral Uncertainty.Oswald Hanfling - 2008 - Philosophical Investigations 31 (2):105–123.
    Applying a broadly Wittgensteinian view of knowledge and its relation to the conditions in which the word “know” is ordinarily used, the paper defends the claim that there can be knowledge in moral matters and rejects the idea that a cross‐culturally homogeneous moral language is a necessary condition for this. However, the fact that moral knowledge is available sometimes does not imply that it is available always. Taking issue in particular with Ronald Dworkin, the paper also argues that where moral (...)
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  14. Subjectivization in Ethics.James L. Hudson - 1989 - American Philosophical Quarterly 26 (3):221 - 229.
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  15. Absolutist Moral Theories and Uncertainty.Frank Jackson & Michael Smith - 2006 - Journal of Philosophy 103 (6):267-283.
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  16. The Effects of Risk on Initial Trust Formation.Svein Tvedt Johansen, Marcus Selart & Kjell Grønhaug - 2013 - Journal of Applied Social Psychology 43:1185-1199.
    This paper seeks to expand our understanding of initial trust by looking at how variation in risk influences the nature of trust and the process of initial trust formation. Four hypotheses were tested in two experiments involving participants with and without work experience. A first hypothesis suggested a positive relationship between a general propensity to trust and initial trust; a second hypothesis, a negative relationship between risk and initial trust; whereas a third hypothesis posited that risk would increase the importance (...)
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  17. You Ought to Φ Only If You May Believe That You Ought to Φ.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (265):760-82.
    In this paper I present an argument for the claim that you ought to do something only if you may believe that you ought to do it. More exactly, I defend the following principle about normative reasons: An agent A has decisive reason to φ only if she also has sufficient reason to believe that she has decisive reason to φ. I argue that this principle follows from the plausible assumption that it must be possible for an agent to respond (...)
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  18. Authority, Oaths, Contracts, and Uncertainty in War.Seth Lazar - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (1):52-58.
    Soldiers sign contracts to obey lawful orders; they also swear oaths to this end. The enlistment contract for the Armed Forces of the United States combines both elements: -/- '9a. My enlistment is more than an employment agreement. As a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, I will be: (1) Required to obey all lawful orders and perform all assigned duties … (4) Required upon order to serve in combat or other hazardous situations.' -/- We standardly think (...)
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  19. The Unity of Reason.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In Clayton Littlejohn John Turri (ed.), Epistemic Norms: New Essays on Action, Belief, and Assertion.
    Cases of reasonable, mistaken belief figure prominently in discussions of the knowledge norm of assertion and practical reason as putative counterexamples to these norms. These cases are supposed to show that the knowledge norm is too demanding and that some weaker norm ought to put in its place. These cases don't show what they're intended to. When you assert something false or treat some falsehood as if it's a reason for action, you might deserve an excuse. You often don't deserve (...)
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  20. Moral Uncertainty and its Consequences.Ted Lockhart - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
    We are often uncertain how to behave morally in complex situations. In this controversial study, Ted Lockhart contends that moral philosophy has failed to address how we make such moral decisions. Adapting decision theory to the task of decision-making under moral uncertainly, he proposes that we should not always act how we feel we ought to act, and that sometimes we should act against what we feel to be morally right. Lockhart also discusses abortion extensively and proposes new ways to (...)
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  21. Professions, Confidentiality, and Moral Uncertainty.Ted Lockhart - 1992 - Professional Ethics 1 (3/4):33-52.
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  22. Smokers, Psychos, and Decision-Theoretic Uncertainty.William MacAskill - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy 113 (9):425-445.
    In this paper I propose an approach to decision theory that I call metanormativism, where the key idea is that decision theory should take into account decision-theoretic uncertainty. I don’t attempt to argue in favor of this view, though I briefly offer some motivation for it. Instead, I argue that if the view is correct, it has important implications for the causal versus evidential decision-theory debate. First, it allows us to make rational sense of our seemingly divergent intuitions across the (...)
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  23. Normative Uncertainty as a Voting Problem.William MacAskill - 2016 - Mind 125 (500):967-1004.
    Some philosophers have recently argued that decision-makers ought to take normative uncertainty into account in their decisionmaking. These philosophers argue that, just as it is plausible that we should maximize expected value under empirical uncertainty, it is plausible that we should maximize expected choice-worthiness under normative uncertainty. However, such an approach faces two serious problems: how to deal with merely ordinal theories, which do not give sense to the idea of magnitudes of choice-worthiness; and how, even when theories do give (...)
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  24. Normative Uncertainty.William MacAskill - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
    We are often unsure about what we ought to do. This can be because we lack empirical knowledge, such as the extent to which future generations will be harmed by climate change. It can also be because we lack normative knowledge, such as the relative moral importance of the interests of present people and the interests of future people. However, though the question of how one ought to act under empirical uncertainty has been addressed extensively by both economists and philosophers---with (...)
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  25. The Infectiousness of Nihilism.William MacAskill - 2013 - Ethics 123 (3):508-520.
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  26. Abortion and Moral Risk.D. Moller - 2011 - Philosophy 86 (3):425-443.
    It is natural for those with permissive attitudes toward abortion to suppose that, if they have examined all of the arguments they know against abortion and have concluded that they fail, their moral deliberations are at an end. Surprisingly, this is not the case, as I argue. This is because the mere risk that one of those arguments succeeds can generate a moral reason that counts against the act. If this is so, then liberals may be mistaken about the morality (...)
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  27. Moral Risk.Dan Moller - unknown
    It is natural for those with permissive attitudes toward abortion to suppose that, if they have examined all of the arguments they know against abortion and have concluded that they fail, their moral deliberations are at an end. Surprisingly, this is not the case, as I argue. This is because the mere risk that one of those arguments succeeds can generate a moral reason that counts against the act. If this is so, then liberals may be mistaken about the morality (...)
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  28. Book Reviews:Living with Uncertainty: The Moral Significance of Ignorance. [REVIEW]Dan Moller - 2009 - Ethics 119 (3):606-611.
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  29. Against Moral Hedging.Ittay Nissan-Rozen - 2015 - Economics and Philosophy (3):1-21.
    It has been argued by several philosophers that a morally motivated rational agent who has to make decisions under conditions of moral uncertainty ought to maximize expected moral value in his choices, where the expectation is calculated relative to the agent's moral uncertainty. I present a counter-example to this thesis and to a larger family of decision rules for choice under conditions of moral uncertainty. Based on this counter-example, I argue against the thesis and suggest a reason for its failure (...)
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  30. A Triviality Result for the “Desire by Necessity” Thesis.Ittay Nissan-Rozen - 2015 - Synthese 192 (8):2535-2556.
    A triviality result for what Lewis called “the Desire by Necessity Thesis” and Broome : 265–267, 1991) called “the Desire as Expectation Thesis” is presented. The result shows that this thesis and three other reasonable conditions can be jointly satisfied only in trivial cases. Some meta-ethical implications of the result are discussed. The discussion also highlights several issues regarding Lewis ’ original triviality result for “the Desire as Belief Thesis” that have not been properly understood in the literature.
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  31. Doing the Best One Can: A New Justification for the Use of Lotteries.Ittay Nissan-Rozen - 2012 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 5 (1):45-72.
    : In some cases in which rational and moral agents experience moral uncertainty, they are unable to assign exact degrees of moral value—in a non-arbitrary way—to some of the different acts available to them, and so are unable to choose with certainty the best act. This article presents a new justification for the use of lotteries in this kind of situation. It is argued that sometimes the only rational thing for a morally motivated agent to do here is to use (...)
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  32. Can an Irrational Agent Reason Himself to Rationality?Ittay Nissan-Rozen - 2010 - Working Papers- The Choice Group.
    When an agent that accepts transitivity of preferences as a principle of rationality finds himself expressing intransitive preferences, he has to change some of his expressed preferences so that transitivity will be restored. When such an agent also believes in the existence of some independent betterness relation among the alternatives over which he forms his preferences, it is reasonable to demand that the way he changes his intransitive expressed preferences will be sensitive to his beliefs regarding this betterness relation. It (...)
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  33. Metanormative Contextualism and Normative Uncertainty.John Pittard & Alex Worsnip - 2017 - Mind 126 (501):155-193.
    We offer a new argument in favour of metanormative contextualism, the thesis that the semantic value of a normative ‘ought’ claim of the form ‘ S ought to Φ’ depends on the value of one or more parameters whose values vary in a way that is determined by the context of utterance. The debate over this contextualist thesis has centred on cases that involve ‘ought’ claims made in the face of uncertainty regarding certain descriptive facts. Contextualists, relativists, and invariantists all (...)
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  34. Uncertainty, Indeterminacy, and Agent-Centred Constraints.Douglas W. Portmore - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2):284-298.
    Common-sense morality includes various agent-centred constraints, including ones against killing unnecessarily and breaking a promise. However, it's not always clear whether, had an agent ϕ-ed, she would have violated a constraint. And sometimes the reason for this is not that we lack knowledge of the relevant facts, but that there is no fact about whether her ϕ-ing would have constituted a constraint-violation. What, then, is a constraint-accepting theory to say about whether it would have been permissible for her to have (...)
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  35. Zimmerman, Michael J..Ignorance and Moral Obligation.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. Pp. Ix+149. $55.00.Douglas W. Portmore - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):1236-1241.
    Review of Michael J. Zimmerman's Ignorance and Moral Obligation.
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  36. Living with Uncertainty: The Moral Significance of Ignorance * By MICHAEL J. ZIMMERMAN. [REVIEW]Linda Radzik - 2009 - Analysis 69 (4):785-787.
    Michael J. Zimmerman offers a conceptual analysis of the moral ‘ought’ that focuses on moral decision-making under uncertainty. His central case, originally presented by Frank Jackson, concerns a doctor who must choose among three treatments for a minor ailment. Her evidence suggests that drug B will partially cure her patient, that one of either drug A or C would cure him completely, but that the other drug would kill him. Accepting the intuition that the doctor ought to choose drug B, (...)
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  37. Coping with Moral Uncertainty. [REVIEW]Peter Railton - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (3):794-801.
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  38. Rejecting Ethical Deflationism.Jacob Ross - 2006 - Ethics 116 (4):742-768.
    One of the perennial challenges of ethical theory has been to provide an answer to a number of views that appear to undermine the importance of ethical questions. We may refer to such views collectively as “deflationary ethical theories.” These include theories, such as nihilism, according to which no action is better than any other, as well as relativistic theories according to which no ethical theory is better than any other. In this article I present a new response to such (...)
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  39. Difficult Cases and the Epistemic Justification of Moral Belief.Joshua Schechter - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 12.
    This paper concerns the epistemology of difficult moral cases where the difficulty is not traceable to ignorance about non-moral matters. The paper first argues for a principle concerning the epistemic status of moral beliefs about difficult moral cases. The basic idea behind the principle is that one’s belief about the moral status of a potential action in a difficult moral case is not justified unless one has some appreciation of what the relevant moral considerations are and how they bear on (...)
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  40. Subjective and Objective Reasons.Andrew Sepielli - forthcoming - In Daniel Star (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford University Press.
  41. Moral Uncertainty and Fetishistic Motivation.Andrew Sepielli - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (11):2951-2968.
    Sometimes it’s not certain which of several mutually exclusive moral views is correct. Like almost everyone, I think that there’s some sense in which what one should do depends on which of these theories is correct, plus the way the world is non-morally. But I also think there’s an important sense in which what one should do depends upon the probabilities of each of these views being correct. Call this second claim “moral uncertaintism”. In this paper, I want to address (...)
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  42. Should You Look Before You Leap?Andrew Sepielli - 2014 - The Philosophers' Magazine 66:89-93.
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  43. Moral Uncertainty and the Principle of Equity Among Moral Theories1.Andrew Sepielli - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3):580-589.
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  44. What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do….Andrew Sepielli - 2013 - Noûs 47 (1):521-544.
  45. Normative Uncertainty for Non-Cognitivists.Andrew Sepielli - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (2):191-207.
    Normative judgments involve two gradable features. First, the judgments themselves can come in degrees; second, the strength of reasons represented in the judgments can come in degrees. Michael Smith has argued that non-cognitivism cannot accommodate both of these gradable dimensions. The degrees of a non-cognitive state can stand in for degrees of judgment, or degrees of reason strength represented in judgment, but not both. I argue that (a) there are brands of noncognitivism that can surmount Smith’s challenge, and (b) any (...)
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  46. Subjective Normativity and Action Guidance.Andrew Sepielli - 2012 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Vol. II. Oxford University Press.
  47. What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do.Andrew Sepielli - 2009 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 4:5-28.
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  48. Ted Lockhart, Moral Uncertainty and Its Consequences:Moral Uncertainty and Its Consequences.Andrew Sepielli - 2006 - Ethics 116 (3):601-604.
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  49. 'Along an Imperfectly-Lighted Path': Practical Rationality and Normative Uncertainty.Andrew Sepielli - unknown
    Nobody's going to object to the advice "Do the right thing", but that doesn't mean everyone's always going to follow it. Sometimes this is because of our volitional limitations; we cannot always bring ourselves to make the sacrifices that right action requires. But sometimes this is because of our cognitive limitations; we cannot always be sure of what is right. Sometimes we can't be sure of what's right because we don't know the non-normative facts. But sometimes, even if we were (...)
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  50. Précis of Knowing Better: Virtue, Deliberation, and Normative Ethics.Daniel Star - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):706-708.
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