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From Valuing to ValueTowards a Defense of Subjectivism$
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David Sobel

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198712640

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198712640.001.0001

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Do the Desires of Rational Agents Converge?

Do the Desires of Rational Agents Converge?

Chapter:
5 Do the Desires of Rational Agents Converge?
Source:
From Valuing to Value
Author(s):

David Sobel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198712640.003.0006

In this chapter I defend subjectivism from the charge that unless everyone would value similarly, when rational, such desires must be problematically arbitrary and could not provide reasons. Michael Smith maintains that the existence of normative reasons conceptually hinges on the desires of all rational agents converging. Smith then goes on to argue that it is quite plausible that such convergence would be forthcoming. I offer reasons to think that such convergence is not required for the existence of normative reasons, that we lack good reasons to think such convergence likely, and that Smith’s arguments to the contrary are unconvincing.

Keywords:   Michael Smith, practical reason, reasons, Kantian, convergence in desires, anti-rationalism

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