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date: 24 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter assesses analyses of normative reasons that appeal to the concepts of evidence or explanation along with some other normative concept. One influential analysis holds that some fact is a reason for an agent to ϕ if and only if that fact is evidence she ought to ϕ. I argue that, despite the many advantages of this proposal, there are cases of facts which are reasons to ϕ but aren’t evidence one ought to ϕ, and cases of facts which are evidence one ought to ϕ but aren’t reasons to ϕ. Others have analyzed reasons in terms of explanations: perhaps a reason for an agent to ϕ is a fact which explains why she ought to ϕ, or a fact which figures in a “weighing explanation,” or a fact which explains why her ϕ-ing would be good in some respect. There are difficulties facing all three of these proposals.

Keywords: reasons, evidence, explanation, ought, value

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