Philosophy Colloquium
Christian Tarsney
University of Maryland
Normative Uncertainty and Subjective Oughts

There is some sense of "ought" in which what an agent ought to do depends on her epistemic state--e.g., such that she ought to take whatever she justifiably regards as the best available course of action. Oughts of this kind are closely connected to action-guidance, since unlike "objective oughts" which are epistemic state-invariant, they seem to be epistemically accessible to agents under most circumstances. I argue, however, that under some conditions (namely, conditions of normative uncertainty) there may be no interesting species of oughts to which agents have epistemic access. This constitutes a challenge for any theory of rational choice that aims to provide agents with all-things-considered action guidance.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Susquehanna 1105