All things considered

Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):1–22 (2004)
Abstract
One of the most common judgments of normative life takes the following form: With respect to some things that matter, one item is better than the other, with respect to other things that matter, the other item is better, but all things considered – that is, taking into account all the things that matter – the one item is better than the other. In this paper, I explore how all-things-considered judgments are possible, assuming that they are. In particular, I examine the question of how the different considerations relevant to an all-things-considered judgment come together in a way that gives each relevant consideration its proper due. I propose an answer which provides a unified account of all-things-considered judgments and highlights a deep connection between value and reason. My suggestion is that ‘all things considered’ is, in effect, a placeholder for a more comprehensive, sometimes nameless, value that includes the things considered as parts, and that this more comprehensive value determines how the things considered normatively relate.
Keywords values, axiology, reasons, all things considered, fragmentation of value  incommensurability of value, incomparability, practical reason  morality, prudence
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DOI 10.1111/j.1520-8583.2004.00018.x
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