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The normativity of rationality

Dissertation, Humboldt University of Berlin (2013)

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  1. The explanatory role of consistency requirements.Marc-Kevin Daoust - 2020 - Synthese 197 (10):4551-4569.
    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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  • Knowledge-First Theories of Justification.Paul Silva Jr - forthcoming - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Knowledge-first theories of justification give knowledge priority when it comes to explaining when and why someone has justification for an attitude or an action. The emphasis of this entry is on knowledge-first theories of justification for belief. As it turns out there are a number of ways of giving knowledge priority when theorizing about justification, and in what follows I offer an opinionated survey of more than a dozen existing options that have emerged in the last two decades since the (...)
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  • Veritism and the Normativity of Logic.Nader Shoaibi - forthcoming - Ratio.
    The idea that logic is in some sense normative for thought and reasoning is a familiar one. Some of the most prominent figures in the history of philosophy including Kant and Frege have been among its defenders. The most natural way of spelling out this idea is to formulate wide-scope deductive requirements on belief which rule out certain states as irrational. But what can account for the truth of such deductive requirements of rationality? By far, the most prominent responses draw (...)
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  • We Make Up the Rules as We Go Along: Improvisation as an Essential Aspect of Human Practices?Georg W. Bertram & Alessandro Bertinetto - 2020 - Open Philosophy 3 (1):202-221.
    The article presents the conceptual groundwork for an understanding of the essentially improvisational dimension of human rationality. It aims to clarify how we should think about important concepts pertinent to central aspects of human practices, namely, the concepts of improvisation, normativity, habit, and freedom. In order to understand the sense in which human practices are essentially improvisational, it is first necessary to criticize misconceptions about improvisation as lack of preparation and creatio ex nihilo. Second, it is necessary to solve the (...)
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  • How There Could Be Reasons for Affective Attitudes.Alexander Heape - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (3-4):667-680.
    Barry Maguire has recently argued that the nature of normative support for affective attitudes like fear and admiration differs fundamentally from that of reasons. These arguments appear to raise new and serious challenges for the popular ‘reasons-first’ view according to which normative support of any kind comes from reasons. In this paper, I show how proponents of the reasons-first view can meet these challenges. They can do so, I argue, if they can successfully meet some other well-known challenges to their (...)
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  • Expressivism and Explaining Irrationality: Reply to Baker.Sebastian Hengst - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-14.
    In a recent paper in this journal, Derek Baker :829–852, 2018) raises an objection to expressivism as it has been developed by Mark Schroeder. Baker argues that Schroeder’s expressivist is committed to certain sentences expressing rationally incoherent states of mind, and he objects that the expressivist cannot explain why these states would be rationally incoherent. The aim of this paper is to show that Baker’s argument for is unsound, and that is unlikely to be true. This obviates the need to (...)
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  • Contrary-to-Duty Scenarios, Deontic Dilemmas, and Transmission Principles.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2018 - Ethics 129 (1):98-115.
    Actualists hold that contrary-to-duty scenarios give rise to deontic dilemmas and provide counterexamples to the transmission principle, according to which we ought to take the necessary means to actions we ought to perform. In an earlier article, I have argued, contrary to actualism, that the notion of ‘ought’ that figures in conclusions of practical deliberation does not allow for deontic dilemmas and validates the transmission principle. Here I defend these claims, together with my possibilist account of contrary-to-duty scenarios, against Stephen (...)
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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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  • The Eclipse of Instrumental Rationality.Kurt Sylvan - forthcoming - In The Routledge Handbook of Practical Reason.
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  • On the Generality Argument for the Knowledge Norm.Davide Fassio - 2020 - Synthese 197 (8):3459-3480.
    An increasingly popular view in contemporary epistemology holds that the most fundamental norm governing belief is knowledge. According to this norm one shouldn’t believe what one doesn’t know. A prominent argument for the knowledge norm appeals to the claim that knowledge is the most general condition of epistemic assessment of belief, one entailing all other conditions under which we epistemically assess beliefs. This norm would provide an easy and straightforward explanation of why we assess beliefs along all these various epistemic (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • The Aim of Belief and the Aim of Science.Alexander Bird - 2019 - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 34 (2):171.
    I argue that the constitutive aim of belief and the constitutive aim of science are both knowledge. The ‘aim of belief’, understood as the correctness conditions of belief, is to be identified with the product of properly functioning cognitive systems. Science is an institution that is the social functional analogue of a cognitive system, and its aim is the same as that of belief. In both cases it is knowledge rather than true belief that is the product of proper functioning.
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  • Rational Requirements and the Primacy of Pressure.Daniel Fogal - forthcoming - Mind:fzz038.
    There are at least two threads in our thought and talk about rationality, both practical and theoretical. In one sense, to be rational is to respond correctly to the reasons one has. Call this substantive rationality. In another sense, to be rational is to be coherent, or to have the right structural relations hold between one’s mental states, independently of whether those attitudes are justified. Call this structural rationality. According to the standard view, structural rationality is associated with a distinctive (...)
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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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  • Neither/Nor.Clayton Littlejohn - 2019 - In Casey Doyle, Joe Milburn & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), New Issues in Epistemological Disjunctivism. Routledge.
    Abstract: On one formulation, epistemological disjunctivism is the view that our perceptual beliefs constitute knowledge when they are based on reasons that provide them with factive support. Some would argue that it is impossible to understand how perceptual knowledge is possible unless we assume that we have such reasons to support our perceptual beliefs. Some would argue that it is impossible to understand how perceptual experience could furnish us with these reasons unless we assume that the traditional view of experience (...)
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  • A Puzzle About Knowledge, Blame, and Coherence.Marc-Kevin Daoust - 2019 - Acta Analytica 34 (4):493-503.
    Many philosophers have offered arguments in favor of the following three theses: A is epistemically permitted to believe P only if A is in a position to know that P, incoherent agents fail to satisfy the aforementioned knowledge norm of belief, and A’s apparent reasons are relevant to determining what A is blameworthy for believing. In this paper, I argue that the above three theses are jointly inconsistent. The main upshot of the paper is this: even if the knowledge norm (...)
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  • The Obligation to Diversify One's Sources: Against Epistemic Partisanship in the Consumption of News Media.Alex Worsnip - 2019 - In Carl Fox & Joe Saunders (eds.), Media Ethics: Free Speech and the Requirements of Democracy. London: Routledge. pp. 240-264.
    In this paper, I defend the view that it is wrong for us to consume only, or overwhelmingly, media that broadly aligns with our own political viewpoints: that is, it is wrong to be politically “partisan” in our decisions about what media to consume. We are obligated to consume media that aligns with political viewpoints other than our own – to “diversify our sources”. This is so even if our own views are, as a matter of fact, substantively correct.
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  • The Subjective Authority of Intention.Lilian O’Brien - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (275):354-373.
    While much has been written about the functional profile of intentions, and about their normative or rational status, comparatively little has been said about the subjective authority of intention. What is it about intending that explains the ‘hold’ that an intention has on an agent—a hold that is palpable from her first-person perspective? I argue that several prima facie appealing explanations are not promising. Instead, I maintain that the subjective authority of intention can be explained in terms of the inner (...)
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  • Being More Realistic About Reasons: On Rationality and Reasons Perspectivism.Clayton Littlejohn - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):605-627.
    This paper looks at whether it is possible to unify the requirements of rationality with the demands of normative reasons. It might seem impossible to do because one depends upon the agent’s perspective and the other upon features of the situation. Enter Reasons Perspectivism. Reasons perspectivists think they can show that rationality does consist in responding correctly to reasons by placing epistemic constraints on these reasons. They think that if normative reasons are subject to the right epistemic constraints, rational requirements (...)
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  • What Kind of Perspectivism?Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (4):415-443.
    According to perspectivism about moral obligation, our obligations are affected by our epistemic circumstances. But how exactly should this claim be understood? On Zimmerman’s “Prospective View”, perspectivism is spelled out as the thesis that an option is obligatory if and only if it maximizes what Zimmerman calls “prospective value”, which is in turn determined by the agent’s present evidence. In this article, I raise two objections to this approach. Firstly, I argue that spelling out the difference between perspectivism and anti-perspectivism (...)
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  • How Reasons Are Sensitive to Available Evidence.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2018 - In Conor McHugh, Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Normativity: Epistemic and Practical. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 90-114.
    In this paper, I develop a theory of how claims about an agent’s normative reasons are sensitive to the epistemic circumstances of this agent, which preserves the plausible ideas that reasons are facts and that reasons can be discovered in deliberation and disclosed in advice. I argue that a plausible theory of this kind must take into account the difference between synchronic and diachronic reasons, i.e. reasons for acting immediately and reasons for acting at some later point in time. I (...)
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  • Can the Lottery Paradox Be Solved by Identifying Epistemic Justification with Epistemic Permissibility?Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2019 - Episteme 16 (3):241-261.
    Thomas Kroedel argues that the lottery paradox can be solved by identifying epistemic justification with epistemic permissibility rather than epistemic obligation. According to his permissibility solution, we are permitted to believe of each lottery ticket that it will lose, but since permissions do not agglomerate, it does not follow that we are permitted to have all of these beliefs together, and therefore it also does not follow that we are permitted to believe that all tickets will lose. I present two (...)
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  • Rationality as the Rule of Reason.Antti Kauppinen - forthcoming - Noûs.
    The demands of rationality are linked both to our subjective normative perspective (given that rationality is a person-level concept) and to objective reasons or favoring relations (given that rationality is non-contingently authoritative for us). In this paper, I propose a new way of reconciling the tension between these two aspects: roughly, what rationality requires of us is having the attitudes that correspond to our take on reasons in the light of our evidence, but only if it is competent. I show (...)
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  • Rationality as Reasons-Responsiveness.Benjamin Kiesewetter - forthcoming - Australasian Philosophical Review.
    John Broome argues that rationality cannot consist in reasons-responsiveness since rationality supervenes on the mind, while reasons-responsiveness does not supervene on the mind. I here defend this conception of rationality by way of defending the assumption that reasons-responsiveness supervenes on the mind. Given the many advantages of an analysis of rationality in terms of reasons-responsiveness, and in light of independent considerations in favour of the view that reasons-responsiveness supervenes on the mind, we should take seriously the backup view, a hypothesis (...)
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  • The Value of Rationality. [REVIEW]Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2019 - Ethics 129 (3):501-508.
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  • Repliken.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2017 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 71 (4):578-83.
    This a a reply to Gerhard Ernst's and Erasmus Mayr's critical comments on my book 'The Normativity of Rationality'.
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  • Instrumental Rationality.John Brunero & Niko Kolodny - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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