Philosophical Studies:1-27 (forthcoming)

Authors
Jennifer Rose Carr
University of California, San Diego
Abstract
Metanormativists hold that moral uncertainty can affect how we ought, in some morally authoritative sense, to act. Many metanormativists aim to generalize expected utility theory for normative uncertainty. Such accounts face the “easy problem of intertheoretic comparisons”: the worry that distinct theories’ assessments of choiceworthiness are incomparable. The easy problem may well be resolvable, but another problem looms: while some moral theories assign cardinal degrees of choiceworthiness, other theories’ choiceworthiness assignments are merely ordinal. Expected choiceworthiness over such theories is undefined. Call this the “hard problem of intertheoretic comparisons.” This paper argues that to solve the hard problem, we should model moral theories with imprecise choiceworthiness. Imprecise choiceworthiness assignments can model incomplete cardinal information about choiceworthiness, with precise cardinal choiceworthiness and merely ordinal choiceworthiness as limiting cases. Generalizing familiar decision theories for imprecise choiceworthiness to the case of moral uncertainty generates puzzles, however: natural generalizations seem to require reifying parts of the model that don’t correspond to anything in normative reality. I discuss three ways of addressing this problem: by demystifying the reified elements by using them as promiscuously as possible; by constructing alternative decision theories that don’t require the troublesome elements; and by employing an alternative model of metanormative decision problems, and of moral uncertainty generally.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-021-01712-2
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,579
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

Subjective Probabilities Should Be Sharp.Adam Elga - 2010 - Philosophers' Imprint 10.
What to Do When You Don’T Know What to Do.Andrew Sepielli - 2009 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 4:5-28.

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

In Defence of My Favourite Theory.Johan E. Gustafsson & Olle Torpman - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (2):159-174.
Intertheoretic Value Comparison: A Modest Proposal.Christian Tarsney - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (3):324-344.
Vague Comparisons.Cristian Constantinescu - 2016 - Ratio 29 (4):357-377.
Four Conceptions of the Hard Problem of Consciousness.Jonathan Eric Dorsey - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (9-10):129-44.
Do Utility Comparisons Pose a Problem?Ruth Weintraub - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 92 (3):307-319.
Two Problems for Non-Inferentialist Views of the Meta-Problem.Graham Peebles - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (5-6):156-165.
What Is It Like to Be Conscious? Towards Solving the Hard Problem.J. Stewart - 2017 - Constructivist Foundations 12 (2):155-156.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2021-11-13

Total views
6 ( #1,113,364 of 2,461,826 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #119,213 of 2,461,826 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes