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SYNTHESE
2010

What ought probably means, and why you can't detach it

9 years 3 months ago
What ought probably means, and why you can't detach it
: Some intuitive normative principles raise vexing „detaching problems‟ by their failure to license modus ponens. I examine three such principles (a self-reliance principle and two different instrumental principles) and recent stategies employed to resolve their detaching problems. I show that solving these problems necessitates postulating an indefinitely large number of senses for „ought‟. The semantics for „ought‟ that is standard in linguistics offers a unifying strategy for solving these problems, but I argue that an alternative approach combining an end-relational theory of normativity with a comparative probabilistic semantics for „ought‟ provides a more satisfactory solution. Certain intuitive normative principles raise puzzles about the meaning of „ought‟ that continue to vex ethical philosophy. These principles take the form of conditionals, but detaching their consequents by modus ponens yields unacceptable results. Section 1 examines three principles and...
Stephen Finlay
Added 30 Jan 2011
Updated 30 Jan 2011
Type Journal
Year 2010
Where SYNTHESE
Authors Stephen Finlay
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