How (Not) To Aggregate Normative Reasons

Computational Logic SeminarTuesday, March 1, 20162:00 pmGraduate Center, rm. 4422

Federico L.G. Faroldi

How (Not) To Aggregate Normative Reasons


Justification logic can be used to make sense of deontic modality, where justification terms are interpreted as normative reasons. Unlike proofs or epistemic evidence, which are (generally) factive, normative reasons must be ordered, since arguably one only ought to do just what one has most (more, stronger, etc) reason to do.

I make precise in what sense normative reasons are scalar, why an aggregation operation is needed, and introduce the most common types of scales. I then show that normative reasons cannot be (numerically) measured, and that the scale of normative reasons, if any, is therefore not ratio, interval, or ordinal (in a precise measurement-theoretic sense). I eventually discuss the consequences of these results for normative theorizing, and especially for normative particularism.

Federico L.G. Faroldi is a PhD candidate in logic and philosophy at the University of Florence and at the University of Pisa, in Italy. As of 2015-2016, he is visiting NYU. Fereciro got his MPhil from the University of Pavia (Italy), Department of Philosophy, as a fellow of Almo Collegio Borromeo, with a dissertation on the pragmatics of responsibility supervised by Amedeo Giovanni Conte and Sergio Filippo Magni. His current research is on hyperintensionality and normativity, moral and criminal responsibility, philosophy of language (negation, Frege-Geach problem, normative language and the semantics of ‘ought’), non-classical logic and topics in metaphysics (events, tropes). He has been a visiting stiudent in Oxford (TT 2015), St. Andrews (UK), at Trinity College, Dublin, and at NAU (USA).

Posted by on February 27th, 2016