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date: 14 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

We sometimes treat right and wrong as subjective—that is, as necessarily dependent on things like our beliefs and evidence. Think of “subjective utilitarianism.” Sometimes we treat these as objective—that is, as perhaps dependent on the way things really are, independently of our beliefs and evidence. Think of “objective utilitarianism.” Are these just different but equally acceptable ways of thinking and talking, or is one somehow privileged over the other? The philosophers I call “Dividers” take the former view; those I call “Debaters” take the latter. While lots of ink has been spilled on the topic of “subjective and objective reasons” by philosophers in both the Divider and Debater camps, no one has thus far attempted to adjudicate between the two positions. That is the task of this chapter.

Keywords: subjective reasons, objective reasons, action guidance, epistemic probability, “merely verbal”, normative uncertainty

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