Philosophical Review 126 (4):421-479 (2017)

Authors
Franz Dietrich
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Christian List
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Abstract
We present a new “reason-based” approach to the formal representation of moral theories, drawing on recent decision-theoretic work. We show that any moral theory within a very large class can be represented in terms of two parameters: a specification of which properties of the objects of moral choice matter in any given context, and a specification of how these properties matter. Reason-based representations provide a very general taxonomy of moral theories, as differences among theories can be attributed to differences in their two key parameters. We can thus formalize several distinctions, such as between consequentialist and non-consequentialist theories, between universalist and relativist theories, between agent-neutral and agent-relative theories, between monistic and pluralistic theories, between atomistic and holistic theories, and between theories with a teleological structure and those without. Reason-based representations also shed light on an important but under-appreciated phenomenon: the “underdetermination of moral theory by deontic content”.
Keywords Reasons  Structure of moral theories  Representation theorems  Consequentialization  Extensional equivalence  Underdetermination  Formal ethics
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Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1215/00318108-4173412
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References found in this work BETA

On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
The Foundations of Statistics.Leonard J. Savage - 1954 - Wiley Publications in Statistics.
Risk and Rationality.Lara Buchak - 2013 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Consequentializing and Underdetermination.Marius Baumann - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (3):511-527.
Responsibility Voids and Cooperation.Hein Duijf - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (4):434-460.

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