Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Weighing Reasons$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 January 2021

Commitment: Worth the Weight

Commitment: Worth the Weight

(p.104) 5 Commitment: Worth the Weight
Weighing Reasons

Alida Liberman

Mark Schroeder

Oxford University Press

This chapter takes an indirect approach to the question of how people weigh conflicting reasons to determine what they ought to do. It is argued that obligations are a distinct normative concept that also admits of weighing. A natural, simple way due to W. D. Ross—Simple Weighing—of construing the manner in which both reasons and obligations are weighed is introduced. Commitments are introduced as a third normative concept that admits of weighing, and it is argued that Simple Weighing is inadequate for commitments. Commitments, it is argued, are actually a special case of self-imposed obligations; it follows that obligations in general need a more sophisticated weighing process than it first appears. The payoff for our understanding of the weight of reasons is a challenge: if Ross was wrong about how obligations weigh, could Simple Weighing also be wrong about how reasons weigh?

Keywords:   commitment, reason, obligation, weighing, conflict, W. D. Ross, Sam Shpall

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .