Nondeterminacy, Two-Step Models, and Justified Choice

Publication year: 2019

Herlitz, Anders

Ethics, Volume 129, no. 2, pp. 284-308.


This article analyzes approaches to nondeterminacy (e.g., incommensurability, indeterminacy, parity) that suggest that one can make justified choices when primary criteria fail to fully determine a best alternative by introducing a secondary criterion. It is shown that these approaches (in the article called “two-step models”) risk violating Basic Contraction Consistency. Some ways of adjusting two-step models in order to protect against this are addressed, and it is suggested that proponents of two-step models should adopt formal conditions which qualify what counts as a permissible secondary criterion that resemble supervaluationist conditions that qualify what counts as admissible precisifications of vague terms.

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