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Article

Volume 47 • Number 2

April 2009



 

 

Reasoning Without Comparing


by David K. Chan


One philosophical reason for denying that there are incomparable practical options is that consequentialist moral choices are made using the Method of Comparison (MC). Since there are serious reservations about consequentialism, a more compelling second reason to deny incomparability is that practical reason and the justifiability of choice seem to be limited by the possibility of comparing alternatives. This paper focuses on this second reason for denying incomparability. There are two senses to this comparability requirement, namely, (C1) any choice made with the capacity to reason requires the comparing of alternatives, and (C2) any choice that meets the standards of rationality requires the comparing of alternatives. In addition, C2 can take the form of one of two versions: (C2a) any choice that meets the standards of rationality requires that the deliberator actually compares alternatives, and (C2b) any choice that meets the standards of rationality requires that the alternatives are, in principle, comparable.


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ISSN: 2152-1123