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The Right Kind of Solution to the Wrong Kind of Reason Problem

  • GERALD LANG (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 December 2008

Recent discussion of Scanlon's ‘buck-passing’ account of value, which analyses the value of X in terms of agents' reasons for having certain pro-attitudes or contra-attitudes towards X, has generated the ‘wrong kind of reason’ problem (WKR problem): this is the problem, for the buck-passing view, of being able to acknowledge that there may be good reasons for attributing final value to X that have nothing to do with the final value that X actually possesses. I briefly review some of the existing solutions offered to the WKR problem, including those by Philip Stratton-Lake and Jonas Olson, and offer a new, better one, which accommodates all the relevant cases presented in the literature.

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Wlodek Rabinowicz and Tonni Rønnow-Rasmussen , ‘The Strike of the Demon: On Fitting Pro-Attitudes and Value’, Ethics 114 (2004), p. 400

Philip Stratton-Lake , ‘How to Deal with Evil Demons: Comment on Rabinowicz and Rønnow-Rasmussen’, Ethics 115 (2005)

Jonas Olson , ‘Buck-Passing and the Wrong Kind of Reasons’, The Philosophical Quarterly 54 (2004)

Rabinowicz and Rønnow-Rasmussen, ‘Buck-Passing and the Right Kind of Reasons’, The Philosophical Quarterly 56 (2006), p. 118

Sven Danielsson and Jonas Olson , ‘Brentano and the Buck-Passers’, Mind 116 (2007)

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