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Weighing Reasons$
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Errol Lord and Barry Maguire

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199315192

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199315192.001.0001

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An Opinionated Guide to the Weight of Reasons

An Opinionated Guide to the Weight of Reasons

(p.3) 1 An Opinionated Guide to the Weight of Reasons
Weighing Reasons

Errol Lord

Barry Maguire

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins by arguing that any plausible ethical theory needs some weighted notions. Reasons are the paradigmatic weighted notions. Other weighted notions include modifiers, commitments, and thresholds. Normative notions are taxonomised by two cross-cutting distinctions: weighted and non-weighted, and strict and non-strict. A variety of interactions between different normative notions are critically addressed. Finally, the essay critiques several substantive theories of weight, including the “higher-order reasons” view, the value-based view, the desire-based view, Scanlon’s strict-first view, and Horty’s austere view.

Keywords:   weight, strict, reasons, conditions, modifiers, sufficient, ought, Scanlon, W. D. Ross, Horty

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