How Requests Give Reasons: The Epistemic Account versus Schaber's Value Account

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 26 (3):397-403 (2023)
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Abstract

I ask you to X. You now have a reason to X. My request gave you a reason. How? One unpopular theory is the epistemic account, according to which requests do not create any new reasons but instead simply reveal information. For instance, my request that you X reveals that I desire that you X, and my desire gives you a reason to X. Peter Schaber has recently attacked both the epistemic account and other theories of the reason-giving force of requests. Schaber defends a new theory of the reason-giving force of requests according to which request give reasons because it is valuable for requesters and requestees that requests have this power. In this paper I argue that Schaber's attack on the epistemic account fails, and that his own theory ought to be rejected because it faces compelling objections.

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Daniel Weltman
Ashoka University

Citations of this work

The Paper Chase Case and Epistemic Accounts of Request Normativity.Danny Weltman - 2022 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 11 (4):199-205.
What Makes Requests Normative? The Epistemic Account Defended.Daniel Weltman - 2022 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 9 (64):1715-43.

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References found in this work

The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Authority and Reason‐Giving.David Enoch - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (2):296-332.
Giving Practical Reasons.David Enoch - 2011 - Philosophers' Imprint 11.

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