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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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Bearing the Weight of Reasons

Bearing the Weight of Reasons

(p.173) 9 Bearing the Weight of Reasons
Weighing Reasons

Stephen Kearns

Oxford University Press

Reasons and their weights play various roles in our ideology. Reasons outweigh other reasons; the weightier a reason is, the more it justifies an action; if a reason to act in a certain way is conclusive, people ought to act in this way; etc. This chapter considers these and other roles for the weight of reasons, and argues that most of them are best captured by an evidential view of reasons, according to which reasons are evidence of some positive evaluative or normative status of an action. This chapter also explores roles of the weight of reasons (such as that of determining an action’s objective value) that do not sit well with this evidential view.

Keywords:   reasons, evidence, ought, justification, knowledge

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