The Journal of Ethics

, 15:405 | Cite as

Advisors and Deliberation



The paper has two goals. First, it defends one type of subjectivist account of reasons for actions—deliberative accounts—against the criticism that they commit the conditional fallacy. Second, it attempts to show that another type of subjectivist account of practical reasons that has been gaining popularity—ideal advisor accounts—are liable to commit a closely related error. Further, I argue that ideal advisor accounts can avoid the error only by accepting the fundamental theoretical motivation behind deliberative accounts. I conclude that ideal advisor accounts represent neither a substantial departure from, nor a substantial improvement upon, deliberative accounts.


Practical reasons Subjectivism Michael Smith Bernard Williams 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyReed CollegePortlandUSA

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