Mind 125 (500):967-1004 (2016)

Authors
William MacAskill
Oxford University
Abstract
Some philosophers have recently argued that decision-makers ought to take normative uncertainty into account in their decisionmaking. These philosophers argue that, just as it is plausible that we should maximize expected value under empirical uncertainty, it is plausible that we should maximize expected choice-worthiness under normative uncertainty. However, such an approach faces two serious problems: how to deal with merely ordinal theories, which do not give sense to the idea of magnitudes of choice-worthiness; and how, even when theories do give sense to magnitudes of choice-worthiness, to compare magnitudes of choice-worthiness across different theories. Some critics have suggested that these problems are fatal to the project of developing a normative account of decision-making under normative uncertainty. The primary purpose of this article is to show that this is not the case. To this end, I develop an analogy between decision-making under normative uncertainty and the problem of social choice, and then argue that the Borda Rule provides the best way of making decisions in the face of merely ordinal theories and intertheoretic incomparability.
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DOI 10.1093/mind/fzv169
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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.
Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Oxford University Press USA.

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Citations of this work BETA

Moral Uncertainty.Krister Bykvist - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (3):e12408.
Artificial Intelligence, Values, and Alignment.Iason Gabriel - 2020 - Minds and Machines 30 (3):411-437.
Epistemic Modesty in Ethics.Nicholas Laskowski - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1577-1596.

View all 21 citations / Add more citations

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