You ought to φ only if you may believe that you ought to φ

Philosophical Quarterly 66 (265):760-82 (2016)
Authors
Benjamin Kiesewetter
Humboldt-University, Berlin
Abstract
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 correctly to her reasons. In conclusion, I discuss some implications of this argument (given that some other standard assumptions about reasons hold). One such implication is that we are always in a position to be justified in believing all truths about what we have decisive reason (or ought) to do.
Keywords reasons  ought  responding to reasons  deliberation  lex dubia non obligat  normative uncertainty  moral ignorance
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Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1093/pq/pqw012
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Practical Reality.Jonathan Dancy - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Why Be Rational?Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Conflict of Evidence and Coherence.Alex Worsnip - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (1):3-44.
What Kind of Perspectivism?Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (4):415-443.

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

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