Chang's Theory Of Reasoning

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What people ought to do is usually associated with what people have most reason to do. Reasoning is a characteristic feature of humans, an essential tool of thinking that enables people to learn the truth and to rationalize their understanding of the world. Most importantly, reason is the primary source of justification that explains human actions, beliefs and behaviours. By exercising rational reasoning, humans weight up their available alternatives and act according to the best possible option. Yet, to exercise this intrinsic human feature and make rational choices, alternatives must be comparable. However, some philosophers argue that comparison is not always possible between values or bearers of values. Suppose that one (S) has to …show more content…
Cardinal ranking means that S is able to define the extent in which one choice is better than the other, one is able to detect the degree of difference between the favorability of values. It is to say that for instance, value A is 40% better than value B, while value B is 20% better than value C. Chang, in his paper of…, argues for a week version of commensurability that states that there is a true ranking between the conflicting values in any given circumstances when we weight values against each other, yet contrary to the strong version of the thesis, this true ranking can be according to distinct values. On the other hand, value incommensurability refers to those cases, where alternatives cannot be compared according to a single scale of units, thus they cannot be ranked. For instance, option A and option B are incommensurable if neither of them is above the other, nor they are equal to each other. However, it seems that in the case of incommensurability, we are actually discussing the issue of incomparability. The difference between the two is that while the former one simply means the lack of a common unit of measure, the latter one raises the problem of evaluation. Incomparability can certainly cause some difficulties in decision-making, yet it does not seem to be a fundamental problem in …show more content…
In this essay I will follow Chang’s terminology and I will use the terms are distinct elements. The understanding of incomparability might defer depending on how one relates the concepts of value incomparability and incommensurability. For instance, Raz treats incomparability equal to incommensurability, so he holds that values are incomparable if it is false that (1) x is better than y, (2) x is worse than y and (3) x is equal to y, with respect to the same value. While Chung’s definition offer a softer version of incomparability. He states that two values are incomparable when there is no positive value relation between the alternatives, so it is neither true nor false that x and y are in a (1)-(3) relation. Generally speaking, the incomparability of values addresses the scenario when one cannot know whether option A or option B is the better one, nor they can tell that they are equally good. It poses a problem for the opponents of comparativism, which holds that rational choice is made in condition to comparable alternatives (Cambridge paper). Evaluation is based on the Trichotomy Thesis that differentiates three kind of relations between values; better, worse or equally good. From the thesis it follows that if two alternatives are cannot be evaluated according to these three categories, they are incomparable. Yet,

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