The possibility of acting for normative reasons calls for explanation, considering that such reasons are facts. Facing this issue, some argue that to act for a normative reason, the normative reason and the reason we act for (i.e. the motivating reason) need to be identical. Others reject the idea that normative reasons are facts in the first place. A conciliatory proposal is that by appealing to dispositions we can simultaneously accept that normative reasons are facts and that we can act (...) for them, without accepting the identity of the normative reasons and the motivating reason. After sketching an example of such a view, I mention an obstacle on its way. This view relies heavily on the correspondence relation, to make the action connected to the normative reason via a descriptive belief. It is argued that this is challenging since the correspondence relation might not be suitable to play the metaphysical role needed. (shrink)
The literature on the problem of evil does not draw enough upon the relevant debates in (meta)ethics, and ethical theorists (broadly understood) can engage with the problem of evil as a way of inquiry in their field. I review how the problem of evil is essentially formed based on (evaluative and deontic) ethical judgments, and how responses to it, either theistic or atheistic, are mainly based on the relevant ethical judgments. Meanwhile, though contemporary debates in metaphysics and epistemology have influenced (...) the literature on the problem of evil, the same does not hold true for ethics. This suggests that there are ways to engage with the problem of evil as doing axiology or ethical theory more generally, which may be fruitful regardless of their being theodicy. I end by briefly discussing an example focused on the idea of moral progress. (shrink)
The problem of supererogation has attracted significant attention from contemporary moral philosophers. In this paper, we show that this problem was outlined in different terms in the work of the 11th century Persian philosopher Abū Alī Miskawayh. As well as identifying this problem, Miskawayh also developed a unique solution cashed out in terms of virtue ethics that has not yet been considered in the contemporary literature. We will argue that this solution, which is in its general form independent of virtue (...) ethics, provides a plausible explanation of what makes some acts supererogatory and faces two important advantages over the most popular response to the problem of supererogation, The Sacrifice View. Unlike The Sacrifice View, The Cautionary Account can class acts of benevolence that advance the agent's own interests as supererogatory and easily explain why certain acts of sacrifice are neither permissible nor praiseworthy. (shrink)
In “Clearing Space for Extreme Psychologism about Reasons”, Mitova argues against two main views about the ontology of reasons. Instead, she presents an argument by elimination for “extreme psychologism” as a prima facie superior alternative. I will argue for the following claims. First, the case against the Standard Story – the view that normative and motivating reasons are facts and psychological states, respectively – includes premises that are in need of support. Second, the critical examination of factualism – the view (...) that normative and motivating reasons are facts – misses a relevant distinction between motivating and explanatory reasons. This distinction brings new resources to factualism to answer the raised worries. Third, the case for extreme psychologism rests on a requirement that is either too easy to threaten other alternatives, or so strong as to challenge extreme psychologism itself. (shrink)
In _The Ethics of Whistleblowing_ (2019), Boot engages with the current literature on unauthorized disclosure of information, critically examines some positions, and defends others. One early step of the book’s main argument is to claim that whistleblowing is _pro tanto_ wrong. This claim which many parties of the debate accept affects the narrative of the discussion and also plays a role against attempts to justify whistleblowing based on moral rights. In opposition to such a claim, I argue that one can (...) similarly ascribe _pro tanto_ rightness to whistleblowing. However, this would also be a mistake. In principle, such claims are inaccurate concerning how _pro tanto_ reasons work. Considering the motivations for taking up Ross’s idea of _prima facie_ duties, and having in mind the theoretical role they are supposed to play, I suggest that only simple type-acts (as contrasted with complex act-types) may be called _pro tanto_ right or wrong. Therefore, although widely appealed to, such claims about whistleblowing are neither helpful nor successful in the debate. (shrink)
A standard reaction to the problem of evil is to look for a greater good that can explain why God (with the traditional attributes) might have created this world instead of a seemingly better one which has no (or less) evil. This paper proposes an approach we call the Moral Progress Approach: Given the value of progress, a non-perfect world containing evil may be preferable to a perfect world without evil. This makes room for the possibility that this world, with (...) all its evil, may be preferable to a world with less evil. We argue that our proposal is different from apparently similar views such as soul-making theodicy. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore one line of argument for the Humean Theory of Reasons, the view that all normative reasons are based on desires. Then, I suggest a way to block that argument inspired by Aquinas’s discussions on choice, will, and indeterminacy of reason alone.