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Daniel Fogal
New York University
  1. Which Reasons? Which Rationality?Daniel Fogal & Alex Worsnip - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8.
    The slogan that rationality is about responding to reasons has a turbulent history: once taken for granted; then widely rejected; now enjoying a resurgence. The slogan is made harder to assess by an ever-increasing plethora of distinctions pertaining to reasons and rationality. Here we are occupied with two such distinctions: that between subjective and objective reasons, and that between structural rationality (a.k.a. coherence) and substantive rationality (a.k.a. reasonableness). Our paper has two main aims. The first is to defend dualism about (...)
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  2. Rational Requirements and the Primacy of Pressure.Daniel Fogal - 2020 - Mind 129 (516):1033-1070.
    There are at least two threads in our thought and talk about rationality, both practical and theoretical. In one sense, to be rational is to respond correctly to the reasons one has. Call this substantive rationality. In another sense, to be rational is to be coherent, or to have the right structural relations hold between one’s mental states, independently of whether those attitudes are justified. Call this structural rationality. According to the standard view, structural rationality is associated with a distinctive (...)
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  3. The Metaphysics of Moral Explanations.Daniel Fogal & Olle Risberg - 2020 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 15.
    It’s commonly held that particular moral facts are explained by ‘natural’ or ‘descriptive’ facts, though there’s disagreement over how such explanations work. We defend the view that general moral principles also play a role in explaining particular moral facts. More specifically, we argue that this view best makes sense of some intuitive data points, including the supervenience of the moral upon the natural. We consider two alternative accounts of the nature and structure of moral principles—’the nomic view’ and ‘moral platonism’—before (...)
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  4. Explaining Normative Reasons.Daniel Fogal & Olle Risberg - 2023 - Noûs 57 (1):51-80.
    In this paper, we present and defend a natural yet novel analysis of normative reasons. According to what we call support-explanationism, for a fact to be a normative reason to φ is for it to explain why there's normative support for φ-ing. We critically consider the two main rival forms of explanationism—ought-explanationism, on which reasons explain facts about ought, and good-explanationism, on which reasons explain facts about goodness—as well as the popular Reasons-First view, which takes the notion of a normative (...)
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  5. Reasons, Reason, and Context.Daniel Fogal - 2016 - In Errol Lord & Barry Maguire (eds.), Weighing Reasons. Oup Usa.
    This paper explores various subtleties in our ordinary thought and talk about normative reasons—subtleties which, if taken seriously, have various upshots, both substantive and methodological. I focus on two subtleties in particular. The first concerns the use of reason (in its normative sense) as both a count noun and as a mass noun, and the second concerns the context-sensitivity of normative reasons-claims. The more carefully we look at the language of reasons, I argue, the clearer its limitations and liabilities become. (...)
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  6. Speech Acts: The Contemporary Theoretical Landscape.Daniel W. Harris, Daniel Fogal & Matt Moss - 2018 - In Daniel Fogal, Daniel W. Harris & Matt Moss (eds.), New Work on Speech Acts. Oxford University Press.
    What makes it the case that an utterance constitutes an illocutionary act of a given kind? This is the central question of speech-act theory. Answers to it—i.e., theories of speech acts—have proliferated. Our main goal in this chapter is to clarify the logical space into which these different theories fit. -/- We begin, in Section 1, by dividing theories of speech acts into five families, each distinguished from the others by its account of the key ingredients in illocutionary acts. Are (...)
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  7. Ditching Decision-Making Capacity.Daniel Fogal & Ben Schwan - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Ethics.
    Decision-making capacity (DMC) plays an important role in clinical practice—determining, on the basis of a patient’s decisional abilities, whether they are entitled to make their own medical decisions or whether a surrogate must be secured to participate in decisions on their behalf. As a result, it’s critical that we get things right—that our conceptual framework be well-suited to the task of helping practitioners systematically sort through the relevant ethical considerations in a way that reliably and transparently delivers correct verdicts about (...)
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  8. New Work on Speech Acts.Daniel Fogal, Daniel W. Harris & Matt Moss (eds.) - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    This volume presents new essays by leading figures in speech-act theory, the interdisciplinary study of things we do with words. They range over formal semantics and pragmatics, foundational issues about the nature of linguistic representation, and issues at the intersection of the philosophy of language, ethics, and political philosophy.
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  9. Deflationary Pluralism about Motivating Reasons.Daniel Fogal - 2018 - In Veli Mitova (ed.), The Factive Turn in Epistemology. Cambridge University Press.
    This paper takes a closer look at ordinary thought and talk about motivating reasons, in an effort to better understand how it works. This is an important first step in understanding whether—and if so, how—such thought and talk should inform or constrain our substantive theorizing. One of the upshots is that ordinary judgments about motivating reasons are at best a partial and defeasible guide to what really matters, and that so-called factualists, propositionalists, and statists are all partly right, as well (...)
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  10. When Things Fail to Fit Together.Daniel Fogal - forthcoming - Analysis.
    Critical Notice of Alex Worsnip's 'Fitting Things Together: Coherence and the Demands of Structural Rationality' (OUP 2021).
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  11. On the Scope, Jurisdiction, and Application of Rationality and the Law.Daniel Fogal - 2018 - Problema 12:21-57.
  12. Contextualism about Epistemic Reasons.Daniel Fogal & Kurt Sylvan - 2017 - In Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism. Routledge.
    This paper surveys some ways in which epistemic reasons ascriptions (or ERAs) appear to be context-sensitive, and outlines a framework for thinking about the nature of this context-sensitivity that is intimately related to ERAs' explanatory function.
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  13. What the Cluster View Can Do for You.Daniel Fogal & Alex Worsnip - 2024 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies of Metaethics 19. Oxford University Press USA.
    Despite myriad controversies about reasons, two theses are frequently taken for granted: (i) reasons are sources of normative support for actions, attitudes, etc; and (ii) reasons, at least in simple, paradigmatic cases, consist in atomic facts. Call this conjunction “the atomic view.” Against this, we advocate what we call “the cluster view,” on which even in the simplest cases, the normative support for an action or attitude is typically provided by a whole cluster of facts. Moreover, many of these facts (...)
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    Authority, Autonomy, and Capacity.Daniel Fogal & Ben Schwan - 2022 - American Journal of Bioethics 22 (11):97-99.
    Navin, Brummett, and Wasserman (2022) argue—successfully, we think—that the standard “comparative” account of decision-making capacity (DMC) fails to capture an important range of cases in which a...
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  15. The Weight of Reasons.Daniel Fogal & Olle Risberg - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (9):2573-2596.
    This paper addresses the question of how the ‘weight’ or ‘strength’ of normative reasons is best understood. We argue that, given our preferred analysis of reasons as sources of normative support, this question has a straightforward answer: the weight of a normative reason is simply a matter of how much support it provides. We also critically discuss several competing views of reasons and their weight. These include views which take reasons to be normatively fundamental, views which analyze reasons as evidence (...)
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  16. Descartes and the Possibility of Enlightened Freedom.Daniel Fogal - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (4):499-534.
    This paper offers a novel interpretation of Descartes's conception of freedom that resolves an important tension at the heart of his view. It does so by appealing to the important but overlooked distinction between possessing a power, exercising a power, and being in a position to exercise a power.
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    On the Relationship between Competence and Welfare.Daniel Fogal & Ben Schwan - 2022 - American Journal of Bioethics 22 (10):73-75.
    Pickering, Newton-Howes, and Young argue for externalism about competence—the view that “welfare judgments are part of judgments about competence” and posit an “explanatory connection” betwe...
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  18. Confusion of Tongues: A Theory of Normative Language, by Stephen Finlay. [REVIEW]Daniel Fogal - 2016 - Ethics 127 (1):281-288.
    Stephen Finlay’s Confusion of Tongues is a bold and sophisticated book. The overarching goal is metaphysical: to reductively analyze normative facts, properties, and relations in terms of non-normative facts, properties, and relations. But the method is linguistic: to first provide a reductive analysis of the corresponding bits of normative language, with a particular focus on ‘good’, ‘ought’, and ‘reason’. The gap between language and reality is then bridged by taking linguistic analysis as a guide to conceptual analysis, and conceptual analysis (...)
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  19. Semantics for Reasons, by Bryan Weaver and Kevin Scharp. [REVIEW]Daniel Fogal & Peter Van Elswyk - forthcoming - Ethics.
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    Weaver, Bryan R., and Scharp, Kevin. Semantics for Reasons. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. Pp. 176. $55.00 (cloth). [REVIEW]Daniel Fogal & Peter van Elswyk - 2021 - Ethics 131 (2):420-427.
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