2017 – 18 Ateliers/Workshops
(Plus de détails à venir/More details to come)
20 oct. 2017 :
Sigrún Svavarsdóttir (Tufts University) “Value Ascriptions”
10h-12h – Salle : 223 (2910 Boul. Édouard-Montpetit, métro Université de Montréal)
This paper focuses on value as ascribed to what can be desired, enjoyed, cherished, admired, loved, and so on: value that putatively serves as ground for evaluating such attitudes and for justifying conduct. The main question of the paper is whether such value ascriptions are property ascriptions and why anyone would even think so. Given how the disagreement between cognitivists and non-cognitivists is traditionally construed within metaethics, the question concerns whether cognitivism provides the right approach to value ascriptions and what the basic motivation for that approach is. According to the philosophical lore, the structure of evaluative thought and language prima facie favors the cognitivist thesis that value ascriptions are property ascriptions. This paper rethinks the lessons to be drawn from the structure of evaluative thought and language. The paper does not take sides in the traditional debate between cognitivism and non-cognitivism but, instead, questions how the debate about the nature of value ascriptions has traditionally been framed.
12 janv. 2018 :
Nomy Arpaly (Brown University) “On Benevolence”
14h-16h – Salle DS-1950 (320, rue Sainte Catherine Est, UQÀM)
It is widely agreed that benevolence is not the whole of the moral life, but it is not as widely appreciated that benevolence is an irreducible part of that life. This paper argues that Kantian efforts to characterize benevolence, or something like it, in terms of reverence for rational agency fall short. Such reverence, while credibly an important part of the moral life, is no more the whole of it than benevolence.
26 janv. 2018 :
Dale Dorsey (The University of Kansas) “Preferences and Prudential Reasons”
10h-12h – 223 (2910 Boul. Édouard-Montpetit, métro Université de Montréal)
9 fév. 2018 :
Ralph Wedgwood (University of Southern California) “The Measurement of Value”
10h-12h – Salle 223 (2910 Boul. Édouard-Montpetit, métro Université de Montréal)
When one state of affairs A is in a way better than another state of affairs B, does it make sense to inquire how much better A is in this way than B? Is goodness amenable to any kind of cardinal measurement?
In the utilitarian tradition, it sometimes seems implicitly assumed that goodness is amenable to the same kind of extensive measurement as quantities like mass or volume. According to this assumption, goodness is like a kind of stuff, and inquiring how good the world is as a whole is like inquiring about the total mass or volume of this stuff in the world as a whole. It will be argued here this assumption is open to grave objections.
An alternative account is suggested. First, there is reason to think that goodness can be measured on an interval scale (not a ratio scale). Goodness seems to form a difference structure: we can meaningfully say, not only that one state of affairs is better than another, but also that the first state is “much better” or “slightly better” than the other. In other words, we can compare differences in value between pairs of states of affairs.
Secondly, the best explanation of this lies in a fundamental connection between value and probability. In effect, it is part of the job description of a value that it should play nicely with probability functions. Every value is capable of interacting with every probability function to provide a corresponding notion of expected value (according to that probability function). This requires that the value must have the kind of quantitative structure that can be captured by an interval scale.
2 mars 2018 :
Ulf Hlobil (Concordia University) “On Weighing Reasons with Defeaters”
10h-12h – Salle à préciser (2910 Boul. Édouard-Montpetit, métro Université de Montréal)
According to the Reasoning View about normative reasons, R is a normative reason to φ just in case R can figure as a premise in good reasoning that results in φ-ing. As is widely recognized among advocates of the Reasoning View (e.g. Setiya, Way, Asarnow), the most important challenge for the Reasoning View is to give an account of how reasons can be outweighed. It is also widely recognized that this is best done by appeal to the defeasibility of reasoning. After introducing the Reasoning View, I start by criticizing different accounts of weights in terms of defeasibility. I then offer my own account of the weights in terms of defeasibility. A crucial feature of the account is that it distinguishes premises of practical reasoning from background attitudes. Along the way, I introduce notions of enablers, obligations, and virtuous action. I end by suggesting that the “objective ought” and “objective reasons” are idealizations, and that the “subjective ought” and “subjective reasons” are primary.