I am assistant professor of philosophy at Macalester College. I work in ethics, metaethics, action theory, and epistemology.
I'm currently occupied with two primary research projects. One is the development of a theory of normative reasons for action called the Reasoning View. The other involves exploring some under-studied problems for the causal theory of action and the distinctive practical attitude theory of intention.
In fall 2017 I'm teaching intro to philosophy.
E-mail sasarnow [at] macalester [dot] edu.
Asarnow? uh-SAR-no (/ʌˈsɑr noʊ/).
Fig. 1: At Frank's Diner in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
"The Reasoning View and Defeasible Practical Reasoning"
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (forthcoming) [pdf]
I argue that the Reasoning View about normative reasons for action faces an extensional objection. I show that the objection can be avoided if the norms of practical reasoning are defeasible, in a sense I make precise. Happily, that idea is independently motivated, and I explain why.
"Rational Internalism," Ethics 127, 1: 147-178 (2016) [pdf]
I raise an action-theoretic objection to Objectivist theories of normative reasons for action (sometimes called "value-based theories"). I then argue that the Reasoning View satisfies the common motivations for Objectivism while also being action-theoretically plausible. Many Objectivists thus have reason (ouch) to convert to the Reasoning View.
Work In Progress and Under Review
To help preserve anonymity in the review process, I am not currently posting the titles of my unpublished work.
If you're looking for a speaker, commentator, or referee, here is what's on deck:
* Two more papers about normative reasons for action.
* One paper exploring related ideas about rational belief.
* Two papers considering puzzles about the nature of intention.
Drafts of some of these papers are available upon request.
Fig. 2: Winter in St. Paul, Minnesota
keywords: samuel asarnow, sam asarnow, asarnow