In Defence of Proportionalism
Article first published online: 30 JUL 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
European Journal of Philosophy
How to Cite
Evers, D. (2013), In Defence of Proportionalism. European Journal of Philosophy. doi: 10.1111/ejop.12042
- Article first published online: 30 JUL 2013
In his book Slaves of the Passions, Mark Schroeder defends a Humean theory of reasons. Humeanism is the view that you have a reason to X only if X-ing promotes at least one of your desires. But Schroeder rejects a natural companion theory of the weight of reasons, which he calls proportionalism. According to it, the weight of a reason is proportionate to the strength of the desire that grounds it and the extent to which the act promotes the object of that desire. In this paper, I aim to do three things: (1) to show why Schroeder's arguments against proportionalism do not refute it; (2) to identify the real trouble with proportionalism; and (3) to suggest a better way of understanding it (preferentialism). According to this theory, the overall strength of reasons is determined by the agent's preferences.