It is plausible that there are epistemic reasons bearing on a distinctively epistemic standard of correctness for belief. It is also plausible that there are a range of practical reasons bearing on what to believe. These theses are often thought to be in tension with each other. Most significantly for our purposes, it is obscure how epistemic reasons and practical reasons might interact in the explanation of what one ought to believe. We draw an analogy with a similar distinction between (...) types of reasons for actions in the context of activities. The analogy motivates a two-level account of the structure of normativity that explains the interaction of correctness-based and other reasons. This account relies upon a distinction between normative reasons and authoritatively normative reasons. Only the latter play the reasons role in explaining what state one ought to be in. All and only practical reasons are authoritative reasons. Hence, in one important sense, all reasons for belief are practical reasons. But this account also preserves the autonomy and importance of epistemic reasons. Given the importance of having true beliefs about the world, our epistemic standard typically plays a key role in many cases in explaining what we ought to believe. In addition to reconciling (versions of) evidentialism and pragmatism, this two-level account has implications for a range of important debates in normative theory, including the interaction of right and wrong reasons for actions and other attitudes, the significance of reasons in understanding normativity and authoritative normativity, the distinction between ‘formal’ and ‘substantive’ normativity, and whether there is a unified source of authoritative normativity. (shrink)
A dogma of contemporary ethical theory maintains that the nature of normative support for affective attitudes is the very same as the nature of normative support for actions. The prevailing view is that normative reasons provide the support across the board. I argue that the nature of normative support for affective attitudes is importantly different from the nature of normative support for actions. Actions are indeed supported by reasons. Reasons are gradable and contributory. The support relations for affective attitudes are (...) neither. So-called reasons of the right kind for affective attitudes are facts that make those very attitudes fitting. Unlike reasons, fit-making facts for affective attitudes do not conflict with each other or combine in the explanation of further normative facts. More fit-making facts just make a more complex set of reactions fitting. This result undermines various analyses and unity theses in the philosophy of normativity. (shrink)
This paper develops the Value-Based Theory of Reasons in some detail. The central part of the paper introduces a number of theoretically puzzling features of normative reasons. These include weight, transmission, overlap, and the promiscuity of reasons. It is argued that the Value-Based Theory of Reasons elegantly accounts for these features. This paper is programmatic. Its goal is to put the promising but surprisingly overlooked Value-Based Theory of Reasons on the table in discussions of normative reasons, and to draw attention (...) to a number of areas for fruitful further research. (shrink)
Efficient markets are alienating if they inhibit us from recognizably caring about one another in our productive activities. I argue that efficient market behaviour is both exclusionary and fetishistic. As exclusionary, the efficient marketeer cannot manifest care alongside their market behaviour. As fetishistic, the efficient marketeer cannot manifest care in their market behaviour. The conjunction entails that efficient market behavior inhibits care. It doesn’t follow that efficient market behavior is vicious: individuals might justifiably commit to efficiency because doing so serves (...) the common good. But efficient market systems nevertheless have significant opportunity costs. The discussion yields a range of desiderata for non-alienated economic organization. (shrink)
Normative reasons have become a popular theoretical tool in recent decades. One helpful feature of normative reasons is their weight. The fourteen new essays in this book theorize about many different aspects of weight. Topics range from foundational issues to applications of weight in debates across philosophy.
We use normative reasons in a bewildering variety of different ways. And yet, as many recent theorists have shown, one can discern systematic distinctions underlying this complexity. This paper is a contribution to this project of constructive normative metaphysics. We aim to bring a black sheep back into the flock: the balancing model of weighing reasons. This model is threatened by a variety of cases in which distinct reasons overlap, in the sense that they do not contribute separate weight for (...) or against an option. Our response is to distinguish between derivative reasons and load-bearing reasons, only the latter of which contribute non-overlapping weight to an option. This distinction is close at hand for analyses of reasons in terms of the promotion of significant outcomes. But we also develop an account of this distinction for fundamentalist theories of normative reasons. (shrink)
There are various ways of characterising Hume’s dictum that ‘you can’t get an ought from an is.’ Contributors to the literature directly addressing this question focus on logical characterisations of autonomy theses. Such theses maintain that certain logical relations do not obtain between ethical and non-ethical sentences, for instance that no non-ethical sentences logically entail an ethical sentence. I argue that this focus on logical autonomy is a mistake. The thesis so important to our metaethicists is not a logical thesis (...) but a metaphysical one. The relevant metaphysical autonomy thesis maintains that ethical facts are not fully grounded just in non-ethical facts. I defend this characterization. I also defend the converse thesis that all facts partly grounded in ethical facts are ethical facts. I then argue that this pair of theses can help with debates about the plausibility of nihilism and the classification of revisionary metaethical theses. (shrink)
There are several powerful motivations for neutral value‐based deontic theories such as Act Consequentialism. Traditionally, such theories have had great difficulty accounting for partiality towards one's personal relationships and projects. This paper presents a neutral value‐based theory that preserves the motivations for Act Consequentialism while vindicating some crucial intuitions about reasons to be partial. There are two central ideas. The first is that when it comes to working out what you ought to do, your friends’ interests, the needs of your (...) family, the significance of your own projects and ideals, etc. have more weight than the interests and needs of strangers. Your friends’ interests are not (thereby) more neutrally valuable than the interests of others. So there is a difference between the value of an outcome and its deontic significance. The second familiar idea is that reasons are modifiable. Reasons of partiality are reasons the weights of which are a function of the value of the relevant outcome modified by facts about the value of caring about the outcome in question. The resulting principle has various further explanatory advantages; in particular, it accounts for project‐ and relationship‐specific permissions and requirements, both at a time and across time. (shrink)
Semiotic objections to market exchange of a good or service maintain that such exchanges signal an inappropriate attitude to the good or to associated individuals, and that this provides a weighty reason against having or participating in such markets. This style of argument has recently come under withering attack from Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski (2015a, 2015b). They point out that the significance of any market exchange is explained by a contingent semiotic norm. Given the tremendous value that could be (...) realised by markets in, for instance, bone marrow, or kidneys, deferring to such norms across the board would have very significant opportunity costs. In the absence of any rationale for these norms, they should be ignored completely. We provide one important rationale. Unlike many semiotic objections to markets, we provide a broadly consequentialist semiotic argument. We argue that a range of behaviours play important signalling roles in interpersonal social practices; in particular, in practices involving caring, esteem, and testimony. Markets in these behaviours would distort these signals. Moreover, many of the productive advantages yielded by markets rely in turn on positive market norms that also inhibit the signalling behaviours associated with these nonmarket behaviours. We conclude that there will inevitably be trade-offs between the distributive advantages of new markets and these interpersonal social practices. (shrink)
It is regrettably common for theorists to attempt to characterize the Humean dictum that one can’t get an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’ just in broadly logical terms. We here address an important new class of such approaches which appeal to model-theoretic machinery. Our complaint about these recent attempts is that they interfere with substantive debates about the nature of the ethical. This problem, developed in detail for Daniel Singer’s and Gillian Russell and Greg Restall’s accounts of Hume’s dictum, is of (...) a general type arising for the use of model-theoretic structures in cashing out substantive philosophical claims: the question of whether an abstract model-theoretic structure successfully interprets something often involves taking a stand on non-trivial issues surrounding the thing. In the particular case of Hume’s dictum, given reasonable conceptual or metaphysical claims about the ethical, Singer’s and Russell and Restall’s accounts treat obviously ethical claims as descriptive and vice versa. Consequently, their model-theoretic characterizations of Hume’s dictum are not metaethically neutral. This encourages skepticism about whether model-theoretic machinery suffices to provide an illuminating distinction between the ethical and the descriptive. (shrink)
An ethical theory is alienating if accepting the theory inhibits the agent from fitting participation in some normative ideal, such as some ideal of integrity, friendship, or community. Many normative ideals involve non-consequentialist behavior of some form or another. If such ideals are normatively authoritative, they constitute counterexamples to consequentialism unless their authority can be explained or explained away. We address a range of attempts to avoid such counterexamples and argue that consequentialism cannot by itself account for the normative authority (...) of all plausible such ideals. At best, consequentialism can find a more modest place in an ethical theory that includes non-consequentialist principles with their own normative authority. (shrink)
Abstract The values of the healthcare sector are fairly ubiquitous across the globe, focusing on caring and respect, patient health, excellence in care delivery, and multi-stakeholder collaboration. Many individual pharmacists embrace these core values. But their ability to honor these values is significantly determined by the nature of the system they work in. -/- The paper starts with a model of the prevailing pharmacist workforce model in Scotland, in which core roles are predominantly separated into hierarchically disaggregated jobs focused on (...) one professional ‘pillar’: Clinician /Practice Provider; Educator; Leader/Manager; and Researcher. This is the ‘Atomistic’ Model. This skills-segregation yields a workforce of individuals working in isolation rather than collaborating together, and lacking a shared information flow, purpose and identity. Key strategic flaws include suboptimal responsiveness to population and subpopulation needs, inconsistency and inequity of care, an erosion of professional agency, and lower job satisfaction. It is conjectured that this results from a lack of congruence between values, professional ethos, and organizational structure. ‘Atomism’ culminates in a syndrome of widespread professional-level cognitive dissonance. -/- The paper contrasts this with a new emerging workforce vision, The Collaborative Care Model. This new model defines a systems-first-approach, built on the principle that all jobs must include all four professional ‘pillars’. Vertical skills integration, involving education and task sharing, will support sustainability and succession planning. Horizontal skills integration (across practice, leadership and research) is included to improve responsiveness to population need and individual professional agency. The working conditions, supportive ethos, and career structure needed to make the model work are described. Moral theory and workforce theory are used to justify why the model may be more effective for population health, delivering greater job satisfaction for individuals and ultimately helping systematically realize and honor healthcare values. Finally, the paper sketches the first steps needed to implement the model at the national level, starting with the operationalization of new multi-pillar professional curricula across the career spectrum. Potential pitfalls and challenges are also discussed. -/- Co-Authors: 1. Paul Forsyth (PF) Lead Pharmacist Clinical Cardiology, Pharmacy, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde. Contribution: Conceptualization; Model Curation; Model Theory; Model Visualization; Writing - original draft (lead author), Writing - review & editing (lead author) 2. Andrew Radley (AR), Consultant in Public Health Pharmacy, NHS Tayside. Contribution: Conceptualization; Model curation; Model Theory; Writing - review & editing 3. Gordon Rushworth (GR), MPharm MSc FFRPS FRPharmS (Consultant). Programme Director, Highland Pharmacy Education & Research Centre, NHS Highland, Inverness. Contribution: Model curation; Writing - review & editing 4. Fiona Marra (FM) National Lead Clinician Scottish Infection and Immunology Network (SPAIIN) / Advanced Pharmacist HCV / HIV, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde. Contribution: Model curation; Writing - review & editing 5. Susan Roberts (SR) Associate Postgraduate Pharmacy Dean, NHS Education for Scotland. Contribution: Model curation; Writing - review & editing 6. Roisin O’Hare (RO) Lead Teacher Practitioner Pharmacist, Northern Ireland University Network, Southern Health and Social Care Trust. Contribution: Model curation; Writing - review & editing 7. Catherine Duggan (CD) Chief Executive Officer, International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). Contribution: Model curation; Writing - review & editing 8. Barry Maguire (BM) Senior Lecturer, School of Philosophy, Psychology and Life Sciences, The University of Edinburgh. Contribution: Conceptualization; Model Curation; Model Theory; Model Visualization; Supervision; Writing - original draft (senior academic supervisor), Writing - review & editing (senior academic supervisor) -/- . (shrink)
David Lewis claims that his theory of modality successfully reduces modal items to nonmodal items. This essay will clarify this claim and argue that it is true. This is largely an exercise within ‘Ludovician Polycosmology’: I hope to show that a certain intuitive resistance to the reduction and a set of related objections misunderstand the nature of the Ludovician project. But these results are of broad interest since they show that would-be reductionists have more formidable argumentative resources than is often (...) thought. Lewis’s reduction depends on a set of methodological commitments each of which is fairly plausible or at least currently popular, and none of which is particular to modality. The choice of which of these commitments to reject I leave to the discerning antireductionist. The essay proceeds as follows: §1 discusses reduction generally and one or two relevant puzzles; §2 discusses Lewis’s reduction in particular; the longest section, §3 replies to four objections. (shrink)
This paper presents a puzzle for Act Consequentialists who do not want to shoot Pelé. The puzzle arises from cases involving the promotion of virtue, and motivates a systematic restriction on the separability of reasons.