Weight for Stephen Finlay

Philosophical Studies 163 (3):737-749 (2013)

Authors
Daan Evers
University of Groningen
Abstract
According to Stephen Finlay, ‘A ought to X’ means that X-ing is more conducive to contextually salient ends than relevant alternatives. This in turn is analysed in terms of probability. I show why this theory of ‘ought’ is hard to square with a theory of a reason’s weight which could explain why ‘A ought to X’ logically entails that the balance of reasons favours that A X-es. I develop two theories of weight to illustrate my point. I first look at the prospects of a theory of weight based on expected utility theory. I then suggest a simpler theory. Although neither allows that ‘A ought to X’ logically entails that the balance of reasons favours that A X-es, this price may be accepted. For there remains a strong pragmatic relation between these claims
Keywords Stephen Finlay  Ought  Reasons  Weight of reasons  Expected utility theory  Moral semantics
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9842-y
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The Logic of Decision.Richard Jeffrey - 1965 - University of Chicago Press.
The Reasons That Matter.Stephen Finlay - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (1):1 – 20.
What 'Must' and 'Can' Must and Can Mean.Angelika Kratzer - 1977 - Linguistics and Philosophy 1 (3):337--355.

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