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  1. Normativity and self-relations.Yair Levy - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (2):359-374.
    The paper criticizes two prominent accounts which purport to explain normativity by appealing to some relation that one bears to oneself. Michael Bratman argues that one has reason to be formally coherent because otherwise one would fail to govern oneself. And David Velleman argues that one has reason to be formally coherent because otherwise one would be less intelligible to oneself. Both Bratman and Velleman argue in quite different ways that rational coherence is normative because it is necessary for the (...)
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  • The Coherent and the Rational.Errol Lord - 2014 - Analytic Philosophy 55 (2):151-175.
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  • A Positivist Route for Explaining How Facts Make Law.David Plunkett - 2012 - Legal Theory 18 (2):139-207.
    In “How Facts Make Law” and other recent work, Mark Greenberg argues that legal positivists cannot develop a viable constitutive account of law that meets what he calls the “the rational-relation requirement.” He argues that this gives us reason to reject positivism in favor of antipositivism. In this paper, I argue that Greenberg is wrong: positivists can in fact develop a viable constitutive account of law that meets the rational-relation requirement. I make this argument in two stages. First, I offer (...)
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  • Instrumental Rationality.John Brunero & Niko Kolodny - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • The Normative Requirement of Means-End Rationality and Modest Bootstrapping.Luis Cheng-Guajardo - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (3):487-503.
    “Myth theorists” have recently called the normative requirement of means-end rationality into question. I show that we can accept certain lessons from the Myth Theorists and also salvage our intuition that there is a normative requirement of means-end rationality. I argue that any appeal to a requirement to make our attitudes coherent as such is superfluous and unnecessary in order to vindicate the requirement of means-end rationality and also avoid the problematic conclusion that persons ought to take the means to (...)
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  • The Importance of Being Rational.Errol Lord - 2013 - Dissertation, Princeton University
    My dissertation is a systematic defense of the claim that what it is to be rational is to correctly respond to the reasons you possess. The dissertation is split into two parts, each consisting of three chapters. In Part I--Coherence, Possession, and Correctly Responding--I argue that my view has important advantages over popular views in metaethics that tie rationality to coherence (ch. 2), defend a novel view of what it is to possess a reason (ch. 3), and defend a novel (...)
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  • Grounding and Normative Explanation.Pekka Väyrynen - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):155-178.
    This paper concerns non-causal normative explanations such as ‘This act is wrong because/in virtue of__’. The familiar intuition that normative facts aren't brute or ungrounded but anchored in non- normative facts seems to be in tension with the equally familiar idea that no normative fact can be fully explained in purely non- normative terms. I ask whether the tension could be resolved by treating the explanatory relation in normative explanations as the sort of ‘grounding’ relation that receives extensive discussion in (...)
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  • Instrumental Reasons.Instrumental Reasons - unknown
    As Kant claimed in the Groundwork, and as the idea has been developed by Korsgaard 1997, Bratman 1987, and Broome 2002. This formulation is agnostic on whether reasons for ends derive from our desiring those ends, or from the relation of those ends to things of independent value. However, desire-based theorists may deny, against Hubin 1999, that their theory is a combination of a principle of instrumental transmission and the principle that reasons for ends are provided by desires. Instead, they (...)
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  • Explaining the Instrumental Principle.Jonathan Way - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):487-506.
    The Wide-Scope view of instrumental reason holds that you should not intend an end without also intending what you believe to be the necessary means. This, the Wide-Scoper claims, provides the best account of why failing to intend the believed means to your end is a rational failing. But Wide-Scopers have struggled to meet a simple Explanatory Challenge: why shouldn't you intend an end without intending the necessary means? What reason is there not to do so? In the first half (...)
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  • Authority and Reason‐Giving.David Enoch - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (2):296-332.
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  • Jonathan Dancy. Ethics Without Principles (Oxford University Press, 2004) Sean McKeever and Michael Ridge. Principled Ethics. [REVIEW]Mark Schroeder - 2009 - Noûs 43 (3):568-580.
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  • Defending the wide-scope approach to instrumental reason.Jonathan Way - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 147 (2):213 - 233.
    The Wide-Scope approach to instrumental reason holds that the requirement to intend the necessary means to your ends should be understood as a requirement to either intend the means, or else not intend the end. In this paper I explain and defend a neglected version of this approach. I argue that three serious objections to Wide-Scope accounts turn on a certain assumption about the nature of the reasons that ground the Wide-Scope requirement. The version of the Wide-Scope approach defended here (...)
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  • Holism, Weight, and Undercutting.Mark Schroeder - 2010 - Noûs 45 (2):328 - 344.
    Particularists in ethics emphasize that the normative is holistic, and invite us to infer with them that it therefore defies generalization. This has been supposed to present an obstacle to traditional moral theorizing, to have striking implications for moral epistemology and moral deliberation, and to rule out reductive theories of the normative, making it a bold and important thesis across the areas of normative theory, moral epistemology, moral psychology, and normative metaphysics. Though particularists emphasize the importance of the holism of (...)
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  • Means-end coherence, stringency, and subjective reasons.Mark Schroeder - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 143 (2):223 - 248.
    Intentions matter. They have some kind of normative impact on our agency. Something goes wrong when an agent intends some end and fails to carry out the means she believes to be necessary for it, and something goes right when, intending the end, she adopts the means she thinks are required. This has even been claimed to be one of the only uncontroversial truths in ethical theory. But not only is there widespread disagreement about why this is so, there is (...)
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  • What You’re Rationally Required to Do and What You Ought to Do.Errol Lord - 2017 - Mind 126 (504):1109-1154.
    It is a truism that we ought to be rational. Despite this, it has become popular to think that it is not the case that we ought to be rational. In this paper I argue for a view about rationality—the view that what one is rationally required to do is determined by the normative reasons one possesses—by showing that it can vindicate that one ought to be rational. I do this by showing that it is independently very plausible that what (...)
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  • Intention and Predicition in Means-End Reasoning.Stephen J. White - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (3):251-266.
    How, if at all, does one's intention to realize an end bear on the justification for taking the means to that end? Theories that allow that intending an end directly provides a reason to take the means are subject to a well-known "bootstrapping" objection. On the other hand, "anti-psychologistic" accounts—which seek to derive instrumental reasons directly from the reasons that support adopting the end itself—have unacceptable implications where an agent faces multiple rationally permissible options. An alternative, predictive, role for intention (...)
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  • Respect and the reality of apparent reasons.Kurt L. Sylvan - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3129-3156.
    Rationality requires us to respond to apparent normative reasons. Given the independence of appearance and reality, why think that apparent normative reasons necessarily provide real normative reasons? And if they do not, why think that mistakes of rationality are necessarily real mistakes? This paper gives a novel answer to these questions. I argue first that in the moral domain, there are objective duties of respect that we violate whenever we do what appears to violate our first-order duties. The existence of (...)
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  • An instrumentalist unification of zetetic and epistemic reasons.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Inquiry is an aim-directed activity, and as such governed by instrumental normativity. If you have reason to figure out a question, you have reason to take means to figuring it out. Beliefs are governed by epistemic normativity. On a certain pervasive understanding, this means that you are permitted – maybe required – to believe what you have sufficient evidence for. The norms of inquiry and epistemic norms both govern us as agents in pursuit of knowledge and understanding, and, on the (...)
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  • One dogma of philosophy of action.Matthew Noah Smith - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (8):2249-2266.
    An oft-rehearsed objection to the claim that an intention can give one reasons is that if an intention could give us reasons that would allow an agent to bootstrap herself into having a reason where she previously lacked one. Such bootstrapping is utterly implausible. So, intentions to φ cannot be reasons to φ. Call this the bootstrapping objection against intentions being reasons. This essay considers four separate interpretations of this argument and finds they all fail to establish that non-akratic, nonevil, (...)
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  • II—Simon Kirchin: Evaluation, Normativity and Grounding.Simon Kirchin - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):179-198.
    I consider the ‘normative relevance’ argument and the idea of grounding. I diagnose why there appears to be a tension between the conclusion that we are tempted to reach and the intuition that the normative is grounded in or by the non‐normative. Much of what I say turns on the idea of the normative itself. In short, I think that concentrating on this idea can help us see how the tension arises. My aim is to encourage people to reconceptualize the (...)
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  • How Do Reasons Transmit to Non-Necessary Means?Benjamin Kiesewetter & Jan Gertken - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):271-285.
    Which principles govern the transmission of reasons from ends to means? Some philosophers have suggested a liberal transmission principle, according to which agents have an instrumental reason for an action whenever this action is a means for them to do what they have non-instrumental reason to do. In this paper, we (i) discuss the merits and demerits of the liberal transmission principle, (ii) argue that there are good reasons to reject it, and (iii) present an alternative, less liberal transmission principle, (...)
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  • Knowledge and the Many Norms on Action.James Fritz - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (3):1191-1210.
    If there is pragmatic encroachment in epistemology, whether a person knows that p can vary with normative facts about her actions—including facts that do not bear on the truth or likelihood of p. This paper raises an underappreciated question for defenders of pragmatic encroachment: which of the many norms on action are distinctively connected to knowledge? To the extent that contemporary defenders of pragmatic encroachment address this question, they do so by citing norms of ‘practical rationality.’ I show that this (...)
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  • The Instrumental Rule.Jeremy David Fix - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (4):444-462.
    Properly understood, the instrumental rule says to take means that actually suffice for my end, not, as is nearly universally assumed, to intend means that I believe are necessary for my end. This alternative explains everything the standard interpretation can—and more, including grounding certain correctness conditions for exercises of our will unexplained by the standard interpretation.
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  • Reasons and Defeasible Reasoning.John Brunero - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (1):41-64.
    According to the Reasoning View, a normative reason to φ is a premise in a pattern of sound reasoning leading to the conclusion to φ. But how should the Reasoning View account for reasons that are outweighed? One very promising proposal is to appeal to defeasible reasoning. On this proposal, when a reason is outweighed, the associated pattern of sound reasoning is defeated. Both Jonathan Way and Sam Asarnow have recently developed this idea in different ways. I argue that this (...)
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  • Instrumental reasons.Niko Kolodny - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press.
    Often our reason for doing something is an "instrumental reason": that doing that is a means to doing something else that we have reason to do. What principles govern this "instrumental transmission" of reasons from ends to means? Negatively, I argue against principles often invoked in the literature, which focus on necessary or sufficient means. Positively, I propose a principle, "General Transmission," which answers to two intuitive desiderata: that reason transmits to means that are "probabilizing" and "nonsuperfluous" with respect to (...)
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  • The Normativity of Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Kiesewetter defends the normativity of rationality by presenting a new solution to the problems that arise from the common assumption that we ought to be rational. He provides a defence of a reason-response conception of rationality, an evidence-relative account of reason, and an explanation of structural irrationality in relation to these accounts.
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  • Is there a liberal principle of instrumental transmission?Jan Gertken & Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2018
    Some of our reasons for action are grounded in the fact that the action in question is a means to something else we have reason to do. This raises the question as to which principles govern the transmission of reasons from ends to means. In this paper, we discuss the merits and demerits of a liberal transmission principle, which plays a prominent role in the current literature. The principle states that an agent has an instrumental reason to whenever -ing is (...)
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