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Rationality Through Reasoning

Wiley-Blackwell (2013)

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  1. Rationalitätsforderungen als konstitutive Normen.Jonas Zahn - 2020 - Zeitschrift Für Ethik Und Moralphilosophie 3 (1):69-89.
    ZusammenfassungIn der zeitgenössischen metaethischen Literatur gibt es eine gängige Unterscheidung zwischen zwei Arten von Sollen: dem Sollen substanzieller normativer Gründe und dem Sollen struktureller Forderungen oder Prinzipien der Rationalität. Diese Unterscheidung zwischen Gründesollen und rationalem Sollen führt zur Frage, wie beide zusammenhängen. Eine weit verbreitete Theorie behauptet, dass die Normativität des rationalen Sollens durch die Normativität des Gründesollens zu erklären ist. Ich argumentiere dafür, dass keine Variante dieser Theorie des Primats normativer Gründe in der Lage ist, die Normativität des rationalen (...)
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  • Is Reasoning Responding to Reasons?Franziska Poprawe - 2020 - Philosophical Explorations 23 (2):146-159.
    Volume 23, Issue 2, June 2020, Page 146-159.
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  • Reasoning to Action.Constantine Sandis - 2020 - Philosophical Explorations 23 (2):180-186.
    Volume 23, Issue 2, June 2020, Page 180-186.
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  • Epistemic Instrumentalism and the Too Few Reasons Objection.Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):337-355.
    According to epistemic instrumentalism, epistemic normativity arises from and depends on facts about our ends. On that view, a consideration C is an epistemic reason for a subject S to Φ only if Φ-ing would promote an end that S has. However, according to the Too Few Epistemic Reasons objection, this cannot be correct since there are cases in which, intuitively, C is an epistemic reason for S to Φ even though Φ-ing would not promote any of S’s ends. After (...)
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  • Belief Without Credence.J. Adam Carter, Benjamin W. Jarvis & Katherine Rubin - 2016 - Synthese 193 (8):2323-2351.
    One of the deepest ideological divides in contemporary epistemology concerns the relative importance of belief versus credence. A prominent consideration in favor of credence-based epistemology is the ease with which it appears to account for rational action. In contrast, cases with risky payoff structures threaten to break the link between rational belief and rational action. This threat poses a challenge to traditional epistemology, which maintains the theoretical prominence of belief. The core problem, we suggest, is that belief may not be (...)
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  • Deflationary Pluralism About Motivating Reasons.Daniel Fogal - 2018 - In Veli Mitova (ed.), The Factive Turn in Epistemology. Cambridge University Press.
    This paper takes a closer look at ordinary thought and talk about motivating reasons, in an effort to better understand how it works. This is an important first step in understanding whether—and if so, how—such thought and talk should inform or constrain our substantive theorizing. One of the upshots is that ordinary judgments about motivating reasons are at best a partial and defeasible guide to what really matters, and that so-called factualists, propositionalists, and statists are all partly right, as well (...)
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  • Ought, Agents and Ambiguity That Matters.Joanna Klimczyk - 2017 - Studia Semiotyczne 31 (2):113-138.
    According to a well-homed view in linguistic semantics, deontic logic and logic of agency, some ‘ought’ sentences, like ‘Kate ought to write the report’, are ambiguous between the socalled agentive sense as when Kate is the agent of writing the report, and the non-agentive, or evaluative sense as when, in the light of some norm or things being ideal, the proposition that Kate writes the report would come out true. Within this approach to the semantics of ‘ought’, the ambiguity in (...)
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  • Content and Meaning Constitutive Inferences.María Dolores García Arnaldos - 2019 - Studia Semiotyczne 33 (1):29–47.
    A priori theories of justification of logic based on meaning often lead to trouble, in particular to issues concerning circularity. First, I present Boghossian’s a prioriview. Boghossian maintains the rule-circular justifications from a conceptual role semantics. However, rule-circular justifications are problematic. Recently, Boghossian (Boghossian, 2015) has claimed that rules should be thought of as contents and contents as abstract objects. In this paper, I discuss Boghossian’s view. My argumentation consists of three main parts. First, I analyse several arguments to show (...)
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  • How to Endorse Conciliationism.Will Fleisher - forthcoming - Synthese:1-27.
    I argue that recognizing a distinct doxastic attitude called endorsement, along with the epistemic norms governing it, solves the self-undermining problem for conciliationism about disagreement. I provide a novel account of how the self-undermining problem works by pointing out the auxiliary assumptions the objection relies on. These assumptions include commitment to certain epistemic principles linking belief in a theory to following prescriptions of that theory. I then argue that we have independent reason to recognize the attitude of endorsement. Endorsement is (...)
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  • Savage's Response to Allais as Broomean Reasoning.Franz Dietrich, Antonios Staras & Robert Sugden - manuscript
    Leonard Savage famously contravened his own theory when first confronting the Allais Paradox, but then convinced himself that he had made an error. We examine the formal structure of Savage’s ‘error-correcting’ reasoning in the light of (i) behavioural economists’ claims to identify the latent preferences of individuals who violate conventional rationality requirements and (ii) John Broome’s critique of arguments which presuppose that rationality requirements can be achieved through reasoning. We argue that Savage’s reasoning is not vulnerable to Broome’s critique, but (...)
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  • The Illusion of Discretion.Kurt Sylvan - 2016 - Synthese 193 (6):1635-1665.
    Having direct doxastic control would not be particularly desirable if exercising it required a failure of epistemic rationality. With that thought in mind, recent writers have invoked the view that epistemic rationality gives us options to defend the possibility of a significant form of direct doxastic control. Specifically, they suggest that when the evidence for p is sufficient but not conclusive, it would be epistemically rational either to believe p or to be agnostic on p, and they argue that we (...)
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  • Rational Action Without Knowledge (and Vice Versa).Jie Gao - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):1901-1917.
    It has been argued recently that knowledge is the norm of practical reasoning. This norm can be formulated as a bi-conditional: it is appropriate to treat p as a reason for acting if and only if you know that p. Other proposals replace knowledge with warranted or justified belief. This paper gives counter-examples of both directions of any such bi-conditional. To the left-to-right direction: scientists can appropriately treat as reasons for action propositions of a theory they believe to be false (...)
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  • What Is Sentimentalism? What Is Rationalism? Commentary on Joshua May.Antti Kauppinen - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42:e157.
    In Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind, Joshua May argues successfully that many claims about the causal influence of affect on moral judgment are overblown. But the findings he cites are compatible with many of the key arguments of philosophical sentimentalists. His account of rationalism, in turn, relies on an overly broad notion of inference, and leaves open crucial questions about how we reason to moral conclusions.
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  • The Explanatory Role of Consistency Requirements.Marc-Kevin Daoust - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    Is epistemic inconsistency a mere symptom of having violated other requirements of rationality—notably, reasons-responsiveness requirements? Or is inconsistency irrational on its own? This question has important implications for the debate on the normativity of epistemic rationality. In this paper, I defend a new account of the explanatory role of the requirement of epistemic consistency. Roughly, I will argue that, in cases where an epistemically rational agent is permitted to believe P and also permitted to disbelieve P, the consistency requirement plays (...)
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  • Epistemic Akrasia and Epistemic Reasons.Marc-Kevin Daoust - 2019 - Episteme 16 (3):282-302.
    It seems that epistemically rational agents should avoid incoherent combinations of beliefs and should respond correctly to their epistemic reasons. However, some situations seem to indicate that such requirements cannot be simultaneously satisfied. In such contexts, assuming that there is no unsolvable dilemma of epistemic rationality, either (i) it could be rational that one’s higher-order attitudes do not align with one’s first-order attitudes or (ii) requirements such as responding correctly to epistemic reasons that agents have are not genuine rationality requirements. (...)
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  • On the Transcendental Freedom of the Intellect.Colin McLear - 2020 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7 (2):35-104.
    Kant holds that the applicability of the moral ‘ought’ depends on a kind of agent-causal freedom that is incompatible with the deterministic structure of phenomenal nature. I argue that Kant understands this determinism to threaten not just morality but the very possibility of our status as rational beings. Rational beings exemplify “cognitive control” in all of their actions, including not just rational willing and the formation of doxastic attitudes, but also more basic cognitive acts such as judging, conceptualizing, and synthesizing.
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  • The Eclipse of Instrumental Rationality.Kurt Sylvan - forthcoming - In The Routledge Handbook of Practical Reason.
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  • A Stronger Doctrine of Double Effect.Ben Bronner & Simon Goldstein - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (4):793-805.
    Many believe that intended harms are more difficult to justify than are harms that result as a foreseen side effect of one's conduct. We describe cases of harming in which the harm is not intended, yet the harmful act nevertheless runs afoul of the intuitive moral constraint that governs intended harms. We note that these cases provide new and improved counterexamples to the so-called Simple View, according to which intentionally phi-ing requires intending to phi. We then give a new theory (...)
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  • Looking for a Psychology for the Inner Rational Agent.Robert Sugden - 2015 - Social Theory and Practice 41 (4):579-598.
    Research in psychology and behavioral economics shows that individuals’ choices often depend on “irrelevant” contextual factors. This presents problems for normative economics, which has traditionally used preference-satisfaction as its criterion. A common response is to claim that individuals have context-independent latent preferences which are “distorted” by psychological factors, and that latent preferences should be respected. This response implicitly uses a model of human action in which each human being has an “inner rational agent.” I argue that this model is psychologically (...)
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  • The Logical Significance of Assertion: Frege on the Essence of Logic.Walter Pedriali - 2017 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 5 (8).
    Assertion plays a crucial dual role in Frege's conception of logic, a formal and a transcendental one. A recurrent complaint is that Frege's inclusion of the judgement-stroke in the Begriffsschrift is either in tension with his anti-psychologism or wholly superfluous. Assertion, the objection goes, is at best of merely psychological significance. In this paper, I defend Frege against the objection by giving reasons for recognising the central logical significance of assertion in both its formal and its transcendental role.
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  • Instrumental Normativity: In Defense of the Transmission Principle.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):921-946.
    If you ought to perform a certain act, and some other action is a necessary means for you to perform that act, then you ought to perform that other action as well – or so it seems plausible to say. This transmission principle is of both practical and theoretical significance. The aim of this paper is to defend this principle against a number of recent objections, which (as I show) are all based on core assumptions of the view called actualism. (...)
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  • The Game of Belief.Barry Maguire & Jack Woods - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (2):211-249.
    It is plausible that there are epistemic reasons bearing on a distinctively epistemic standard of correctness for belief. It is also plausible that there are a range of practical reasons bearing on what to believe. These theses are often thought to be in tension with each other. Most significantly for our purposes, it is obscure how epistemic reasons and practical reasons might interact in the explanation of what one ought to believe. We draw an analogy with a similar distinction between (...)
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  • The Normativity of Rationality.John Brunero - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (2):313-317.
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  • A Puzzle About Enkratic Reasoning.Jonathan Way - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Enkratic reasoning – reasoning from believing that you ought to do something to an intention to do that thing – seems good. But there is a puzzle about how it could be. Good reasoning preserves correctness, other things equal. But enkratic reasoning does not preserve correctness. This is because what you ought to do depends on your epistemic position, but what it is correct to intend does not. In this paper, I motivate these claims and thus show that there is (...)
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  • Reasons and Normativity.Jakob Green Werkmäster - 2019 - Dissertation, Lund University
    Normative reasons are of constant importance to us as agents trying to navigate through life. For this reason it is natural and vital to ask philosophical questions about reasons and the normative realm. This thesis explores various issues concerning reasons and normativity. The thesis consists of five free-standingpapers and an extended introduction. The aim of the extended introduction is not merely to situate the papers within a wider philosophical context but also to provide an overview of some of the central (...)
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  • Communities of Judgment : Towards a Teleosemantic Theory of Moral Thought and Discourse.Karl Bergman - 2019 - Dissertation, Uppsala University
    This thesis offers a teleosemantic account of moral discourse and judgment. It develops a number of views about the function and content of moral judgments and the nature of moral discourse based on Ruth Millikan’s theory of intentional content and the functions of intentional attitudes. Non-cognitivists in meta-ethics have argued that moral judgments are more akin to desires and other motivational attitudes than to descriptive beliefs. I argue that teleosemantics allows us to assign descriptive content to motivational attitudes and hence (...)
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  • Contrastive Reasons and Promotion.Justin Snedegar - 2014 - Ethics 125 (1):39-63,.
    A promising but underexplored view about normative reasons is contrastivism, which holds that considerations are fundamentally reasons for things only relative to sets of alternatives. Contrastivism gains an advantage over non-contrastive theories by holding that reasons relative to different sets of alternatives can be independent of one another. But this feature also raises a serious problem: we need some way of constraining this independence. I develop a version of contrastivism that provides the needed constraints, and that is independently motivated by (...)
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  • The Bootstrapping Objection.Christian Piller - 2013 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 20 (4):612-631.
    If our mental attitudes were reasons, we could bootstrap anything into rationality simply by acquiring these mental attitudes. This, it has been argued, shows that mental attitudes cannot be reasons. In this paper, I focus on John Broome’s development of the bootstrapping objection. I distinguish various versions of this objection and I argue that the bootstrapping objection to mind-based accounts of reasons fails in all its versions.
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  • Morality, Rationality, and Performance Entailment.Douglas W. Portmore - manuscript
    The performance of one option can entail the performance of another. For instance, baking an apple pie entails baking a pie. Now, suppose that both of these options—baking a pie and baking an apple pie—are permissible. This raises the issue of which, if either, is more fundamental than the other. Is baking a pie permissible because it’s permissible to bake an apple pie? Or is baking an apple pie permissible because it’s permissible to bake a pie? Or are they equally (...)
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  • A Plea for Epistemic Excuses.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In Fabian Dorsch Julien Dutant (ed.), The New Evil Demon Problem. Oxford University Press.
    The typical epistemology course begins with a discussion of the distinction between justification and knowledge and ends without any discussion of the distinction between justification and excuse. This is unfortunate. If we had a better understanding of the justification-excuse distinction, we would have a better understanding of the intuitions that shape the internalism-externalism debate. My aims in this paper are these. First, I will explain how the kinds of excuses that should interest epistemologists exculpate. Second, I will explain why the (...)
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  • El problema de las razones inadecuadas.Miranda del Corral - 2014 - Factótum 11:103-111.
    Reasons are of the wrong kind if, despite appearing of the right kind, are not able to justify nor to motivate the formation of a mental attitude. Initially, this problem was thought to apply only within the theoretical realm of reason, but Kavka's Toxin Puzzle showed that reasons of the wrong kind are also found in the practical realm. The aim of this paper is to analyze the scope of this problem, in order to determine the kind of reasons it (...)
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  • Norms for Pure Desire.Victor M. Verdejo - forthcoming - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science.
    According to a widespread, broadly Humean consensus, desires and other conative attitudes seem as such to be free from any normative constraints of rationality. However, rational subjects are also required to be attitude-coherent in ways that prima facie hold sway for desire. I here examine the plausibility of this idea by proposing several principlesfor coherent desire. These principles parallel principles for coherent belief and can be used to make a case for a kind of purely conative normativity. I consider several (...)
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  • You Ought to Φ Only If You May Believe That You Ought to Φ.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (265):760-82.
    In this paper I present an argument for the claim that you ought to do something only if you may believe that you ought to do it. More exactly, I defend the following principle about normative reasons: An agent A has decisive reason to φ only if she also has sufficient reason to believe that she has decisive reason to φ. I argue that this principle follows from the plausible assumption that it must be possible for an agent to respond (...)
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  • Mental Processes and Synchronicity.Brian Hedden - 2016 - Mind 125 (499):873-888.
    I have advocated a time-slice-centric model of rationality, according to which there are no diachronic requirements of rationality. Podgorski challenges this picture on the grounds that temporally extended mental processes are epistemically important, rationally evaluable, and governed by diachronic requirements. I argue that the particular cases that Podgorski marshals to make his case are unconvincing, but that his general challenge might motivate countenancing rational requirements on processes like reasoning. However, so long as such diachronic requirements are merely derivative of more (...)
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  • Perceptual Justification and the Cartesian Theater.David James Barnett - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 6.
    According to a traditional Cartesian epistemology of perception, perception does not provide one with direct knowledge of the external world. Instead, your immediate perceptual evidence is limited to facts about your own visual experience, from which conclusions about the external world must be inferred. Cartesianism faces well-known skeptical challenges. But this chapter argues that any anti-Cartesian view strong enough to avoid these challenges must license a way of updating one’s beliefs in response to anticipated experiences that seems diachronically irrational. To (...)
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  • The Normativity of Rationality.Nicholas Shackel - 2015 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 34 (2):167-189.
    Rationality appears to have some intimate relation with normativity: exactly what relation is in dispute. John Broome devotes a chapter of his recent book to rebutting the view that rationality has 'true' normativity, which he equates with the kind of normativity that I call directivity. In particular, he offers a number of arguments against derivative accounts of thenormativity of rationality. In this paper I defend my instrumentalist account from those arguments. In so doing I bring into view the grounds of (...)
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  • Desires, Values and Norms.Olivier Massin - forthcoming - In Federico Lauria & Julien Deonna (eds.), The Nature of Desire. Oxford University Press.
    The thesis defended, the “guise of the ought”, is that the formal objects of desires are norms (oughts to be or oughts to do) rather than values (as the “guise of the good” thesis has it). It is impossible, in virtue of the nature of desire, to desire something without it being presented as something that ought to be or that one ought to do. This view is defended by pointing to a key distinction between values and norms: positive and (...)
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  • Deontic Logic as a Study of Conditions of Rationality in Norm-Related Activities.Berislav Žarnić - 2016 - In Olivier Roy, Allard Tamminga & Malte Willer (eds.), Deontic Logic and Normative Systems. College Publications. pp. 272-287.
    The program put forward in von Wright's last works defines deontic logic as ``a study of conditions which must be satisfied in rational norm-giving activity'' and thus introduces the perspective of logical pragmatics. In this paper a formal explication for von Wright's program is proposed within the framework of set-theoretic approach and extended to a two-sets model which allows for the separate treatment of obligation-norms and permission norms. The three translation functions connecting the language of deontic logic with the language (...)
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  • Instrumental Rationality in Psychopathy: Implications From Learning Tasks.Marko Jurjako & Luca Malatesti - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (5):717-731.
    The issue whether psychopathic offenders are practically rational has attracted philosophical attention. The problem is relevant in theoretical discussions on moral psychology and in those concerning the appropriate social response to the crimes of these individuals. We argue that classical and current experiments concerning the instrumental learning in psychopaths cannot directly support the conclusion that they have impaired instrumental rationality, construed as the ability for transferring the motivation by means-ends reasoning. In fact, we defend the different claim that these experiments (...)
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  • A Constitutive Account of 'Rationality Requires'.Julian Fink - 2014 - Erkenntnis (4):909-941.
    The requirements of rationality are fundamental in practical and theoretical philosophy. Nonetheless, there exists no correct account of what constitutes rational requirements. This paper attempts to provide a correct constitutive account of ‘rationality requires’. I argue that rational requirements are grounded in ‘necessary explanations of subjective incoherence’, as I shall put it. Rationality requires of you to X if and only if your rational capacities, in conjunction with the fact that you not-X, explain necessarily why you have a non-maximal degree (...)
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  • Aesthetic Reasons.McGonigal Andrew - forthcoming - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  • Isolating Correct Reasoning.Alex Worsnip - forthcoming - In Magdalena Balcerak Jackson & Brendan Balcerak Jackson (eds.), Reasoning: New Essays on Theoretical and Practical Thinking. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This paper tries to do three things. First, it tries to make it plausible that correct rules of reasoning do not always preserve justification: in other words, if you begin with a justified attitude, and reason correctly from that premise, it can nevertheless happen that you’ll nevertheless arrive at an unjustified attitude. Attempts to show that such cases in fact involve following an incorrect rule of reasoning cannot be vindicated. Second, it also argues that correct rules of reasoning do not (...)
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  • Defining Normativity.Stephen Finlay - forthcoming - In Kevin Toh, David Plunkett & Scott Shapiro (eds.), Dimensions of Normativity: New Essays on Metaethics and Jurisprudence. Oxford University Press.
    This paper investigates whether different philosophers’ claims about “normativity” are about the same subject or (as recently argued by Derek Parfit) theorists who appear to disagree are really using the term with different meanings, in order to cast disambiguating light on the debates over at least the nature, existence, extension, and analyzability of normativity. While I suggest the term may be multiply ambiguous, I also find reasons for optimism about a common subject-matter for metanormative theory. This is supported partly by (...)
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  • The Authority of Formality.Jack Woods - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13.
    Etiquette and other merely formal normative standards like legality, honor, and rules of games are taken less seriously than they should be. While these standards are not intrinsically reason-providing in the way morality is often taken to be, they also play an important role in our practical lives: we collectively treat them as important for assessing the behavior of ourselves and others and as licensing particular forms of sanction for violations. This chapter develops a novel account of the normativity of (...)
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  • Broome on Reasoning and Rule-Following.Philip Pettit - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3373-3384.
    John Broome’s Rationality Through Reasoning is a trail-blazing study of the nature of rationality, the nature of reasoning and the connection between the two. But it may be somewhat misleading in two respects. First, his theory of reasoning is consistent with the meta-propositional view that he rejects; it develops a broadly similar theory but in much greater detail. And while his discussion of rule-following helps to explain the role of rules in reasoning, it does not constitute a response to the (...)
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  • On the Scope, Jurisdiction, and Application of Rationality and the Law.Daniel Fogal - 2018 - Problema 12:21-57.
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  • Inferential Transitions.Jake Quilty-Dunn & Eric Mandelbaum - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (3):532-547.
    ABSTRACTThis paper provides a naturalistic account of inference. We posit that the core of inference is constituted by bare inferential transitions, transitions between discursive mental representations guided by rules built into the architecture of cognitive systems. In further developing the concept of BITs, we provide an account of what Boghossian [2014] calls ‘taking’—that is, the appreciation of the rule that guides an inferential transition. We argue that BITs are sufficient for implicit taking, and then, to analyse explicit taking, we posit (...)
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  • Reasons, Evidence, and Explanations.John Brunero - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 321-341.
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  • Prime Time (for the Basing Relation).Kurt Sylvan & Errol Lord - forthcoming - In J. Adam Carter & Patrick Bondy (eds.), Well-Founded Belief: New Essays on the Basing Relation.
    It is often assumed that believing that p for a normative reason consists in nothing more than (i) believing that p for a reason and (ii) that reason’s corresponding to a normative reason to believe that p, where (i) and (ii) are independent factors. This is the Composite View. In this paper, we argue against the Composite View on extensional and theoretical grounds. We advocate an alternative that we call the Prime View. On this view, believing for a normative reason (...)
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  • On the Normativity of Rationality and of Normative Reasons.Clayton Littlejohn & Julien Dutant - manuscript
    Abstract: Scepticism about the normativity of rationality is often partially based on the assumption that normative reasons are normative. Starting from the assumption that normative reasons are normative, someone will argue that reasons and rationality can require different things from us and conclude that rationality must not be normative. We think that the assumption that normative reasons are normative is one that deserves more scrutiny, particularly if it turns out, as we shall argue, that no one has yet shown that (...)
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