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  1. The Property of Rationality: A Guide to What Rationality Requires?Julian Fink - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (1):117-140.
    Can we employ the property of rationality in establishing what rationality requires? According to a central and formal thesis of John Broome’s work on rational requirements, the answer is ‘no’ – at least if we expect a precise answer. In particular, Broome argues that (i) the property of full rationality (i.e. whether or not you are fully rational) is independent of whether we formulate conditional requirements of rationality as having a wide or a narrow logical scope. That is, (ii) by (...)
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  • Narrow-Scoping for Wide-Scopers.Alex Worsnip - 2015 - Synthese 192 (8):2617-2646.
    Many philosophers think that requirements of rationality are “wide-scope”. That is to say: they are requirements to satisfy some material conditional, such that one counts as satisfying the requirement iff one either makes the conditional’s antecedent false or makes its consequent true. These contrast with narrow-scope requirements, where the requirement takes scope only over the consequent of the conditional. Many of the philosophers who have preferred wide-scope requirements to narrow-scope requirements have also endorsed a corresponding semantic claim, namely that ordinary (...)
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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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  • Subjective and Objective Reasons.Andrew Sepielli - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press.
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  • What apparent reasons appear to be.Kurt Sylvan - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (3):587-606.
    Many meta-ethicists have thought that rationality requires us to heed apparent normative reasons, not objective normative reasons. But what are apparent reasons? There are two kinds of standard answers. On de dicto views, R is an apparent reason for S to \ when it appears to S that R is an objective reason to \ . On de re views, R is an apparent reason for S to \ when R’s truth would constitute an objective reason for S to \ (...)
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  • The Rational Significance of Desire.Avery Archer - 2013 - Dissertation, Columbia University
    My dissertation addresses the question "do desires provide reasons?" I present two independent lines of argument in support of the conclusion that they do not. The first line of argument emerges from the way I circumscribe the concept of a desire. Complications aside, I conceive of a desire as a member of a family of attitudes that have imperative content, understood as content that displays doability-conditions rather than truth-conditions. Moreover, I hold that an attitude may provide reasons only if it (...)
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  • On the Normativity of Intentions.Bruno Verbeek - 2014 - Topoi 33 (1):87-101.
    Suppose you intend now to φ at some future time t. However, when t has come you do not φ. Something has gone wrong. This failing is not just a causal but also a normative failing. This raises the question how to characterize this failing. I discuss three alternative views. On the first view, the fact that you do not execute your intention to φ is blameworthy only if the balance of reasons pointed to φ-ing. The fact that you intended (...)
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  • The real symmetry problem(s) for wide-scope accounts of rationality.Errol Lord - 2013 - Philosophical Studies (3):1-22.
    You are irrational when you are akratic. On this point most agree. Despite this agreement, there is a tremendous amount of disagreement about what the correct explanation of this data is. Narrow-scopers think that the correct explanation is that you are violating a narrow-scope conditional requirement. You lack an intention to x that you are required to have given the fact that you believe you ought to x. Wide-scopers disagree. They think that a conditional you are required to make true (...)
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  • The Coherent and the Rational.Errol Lord - 2014 - Analytic Philosophy 55 (2):151-175.
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  • Scope for rational autonomy.Mark Schroeder - 2013 - Philosophical Issues 23 (1):297-310.
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  • The Conditionality of Hypothetical Imperatives.Jamsheed Siyar - 2013 - Kantian Review 18 (3):439-460.
    Kant famously distinguishes between the categorical imperative (CI) and hypothetical imperatives (HIs), which are instrumental norms. On the standard reading, Kant subscribes to the of HIs, which takes HIs to be consistency requirements that bind agents in exactly the same way whether or not agents are subject to CI and whether or not they conform their choices to CI. I argue that this reading cannot be squared with Kant's account of an agent's disposition, in particular his claim that cognition of (...)
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  • Acting for the Right Reasons, Abilities, and Obligation.Errol Lord - 2015 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 10. Oxford University Press.
    Objectivists about obligation hold that obligations are determined by all of the normatively relevant facts. Perspectivalists, on the other hand, hold that only facts within one's perspective can determine what we are obligated to do. In this paper I argue for a perspectivalist view. On my view, what you are obligated to do is determined by the normative reasons you possess. My argument for my view is anchored in the thought that our obligations have to be action-guiding in a certain (...)
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  • Instrumental Rationality.John Brunero & Niko Kolodny - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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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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  • Meta‐normative Realism, Evolution, and Our Reasons to Survive.Jeff Behrends - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (4):486-502.
    In this article, I articulate and respond to an epistemological challenge to meta-normative realism. The challenge has it that, if realism about the normative is correct, and if evolutionary forces have significantly influenced our normative judgments, then it would be a remarkable coincidence if the content of the normative facts and our normative judgments were aligned. I criticize David Enoch's recent attempt to meet this challenge, but provide an alternative response that is structurally similar. I argue that if realism is (...)
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  • Reasons and Rationality.Jonathan Way - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press.
    This article gives an overview of some recent debates about the relationship between reasons and rational requirements of coherence - e.g. the requirements to be consistent in our beliefs and intentions, and to intend what we take to be the necessary means to our ends.
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  • “The Thing To Do” Implies “Can”.Nicholas Southwood - 2016 - Noûs 50 (1):61-72.
    A familiar complaint against the principle that “ought” implies “can” is that it seems that agents can intentionally make it the case that they cannot perform acts that they nonetheless ought to perform. I propose a related principle that I call the principle that “the thing to do” implies “can.” I argue that the principle that “the thing to do” implies “can” is implied by important but underappreciated truths about practical reason, and that it is not vulnerable to the familiar (...)
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  • Constructivism in Ethics.Carla Bagnoli (ed.) - 2013 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
    Are there such things as moral truths? How do we know what we should do? And does it matter? Constructivism states that moral truths are neither invented nor discovered, but rather are constructed by rational agents in order to solve practical problems. While constructivism has become the focus of many philosophical debates in normative ethics, meta-ethics and action theory, its importance is still to be fully appreciated. These new essays written by leading scholars define and assess this new approach in (...)
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  • Normative theories of argumentation: are some norms better than others?Adam Corner & Ulrike Hahn - 2013 - Synthese 190 (16):3579-3610.
    Norms—that is, specifications of what we ought to do—play a critical role in the study of informal argumentation, as they do in studies of judgment, decision-making and reasoning more generally. Specifically, they guide a recurring theme: are people rational? Though rules and standards have been central to the study of reasoning, and behavior more generally, there has been little discussion within psychology about why (or indeed if) they should be considered normative despite the considerable philosophical literature that bears on this (...)
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  • Moral and Rational Commitment.Sam Shpall - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):146-172.
    Argues that the normative relation of commitment is routinely overlooked by philosophers, and that investigating it reveals some interesting similarities between the moral and rational domains.
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  • Moral normativity.Eric Vogelstein - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):1083-1095.
    It is a platitude that morality is normative, but a substantive and interesting question whether morality is normative in a robust and important way; and although it is often assumed that morality is indeed robustly normative, that view is by no means uncontroversial, and a compelling argument for it is conspicuously lacking. In this paper, I provide such an argument. I argue, based on plausible claims about the relationship between moral wrongs and moral criticizability, and the relationship between criticizability and (...)
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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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  • A dilemma for Parfit's conception of normativity.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2012 - Analysis 72 (3):466-474.
    In his discussion of normative concepts in the first part of On What Matters (2011), Parfit holds that apart from the ‘ought’ of decisive reason, there are other senses of ‘ought’ which do not imply any reasons. This claim poses a dilemma for his ‘reason-involving conception’ of normativity: either Parfit has to conclude that non-reason-implying ‘oughts’ are not normative. Or else he is forced to accept that normativity needs only to involve ‘apparent reasons’ – a certain kind of hypothetical truths (...)
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  • Probabilizing the end.Jacob Stegenga - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):95-112.
    Reasons transmit. If one has a reason to attain an end, then one has a reason to effect means for that end: reasons are transmitted from end to means. I argue that the likelihood ratio (LR) is a compelling measure of reason transmission from ends to means. The LR measure is superior to other measures, can be used to construct a condition specifying precisely when reasons transmit, and satisfies intuitions regarding end-means reason transmission in a broad array of cases.
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  • Changing Direction on Direction of Fit.Alex Gregory - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (5):603-614.
    In this paper, I show that we should understand the direction of fit of beliefs and desires in normative terms. After rehearsing a standard objection to Michael Smith’s analysis of direction of fit, I raise a similar problem for Lloyd Humberstone’s analysis. I go on to offer my own account, according to which the difference between beliefs and desires is determined by the normative relations such states stand in. I argue that beliefs are states which we have reason to change (...)
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  • Wide and narrow scope.Sam Shpall - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (3):717-736.
    Offers a conciliatory solution to one of the central contemporary debates in the theory of rationality, the debate about the proper formulation of rational requirements. Introduces a novel conception of the “symmetry problem” for wide scope rational requirements, and sketches a theory of rational commitment as a response.
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  • "Ought" and the Perspective of the Agent.Benjamin Kiesewitter - 2011 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 5 (3):1-24.
    Objectivists and perspectivists disagree about the question of whether what an agent ought to do depends on the totality of facts or on the agent’s limited epistemic perspective. While objectivism fails to account for normative guidance, perspectivism faces the challenge of explaining phenomena (occurring most notably in advice, but also in first-personal deliberation) in which the use of “ought” is geared to evidence that is better than the evidence currently available to the agent. This paper aims to defend perspectivism by (...)
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  • Transmission and the Wrong Kind of Reason.Jonathan Way - 2012 - Ethics 122 (3):489-515.
    According to fitting-attitudes accounts of value, the valuable is what there is sufficient reason to value. Such accounts face the famous wrong kind of reason problem. For example, if an evil demon threatens to kill you unless you value him, it may appear that you have sufficient reason to value the demon, although he is not valuable. One solution to this problem is to deny that the demon’s threat is a reason to value him. It is instead a reason to (...)
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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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  • Subjective Reasons.Eric Vogelstein - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (2):239-257.
    In recent years, the notion of a reason has come to occupy a central place in both metaethics and normative theory more broadly. Indeed, many philosophers have come to view reasons as providing the basis of normativity itself . The common conception is that reasons are facts that count in favor of some act or attitude. More recently, philosophers have begun to appreciate a distinction between objective and subjective reasons, where (roughly) objective reasons are determined by the facts, while subjective (...)
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  • Instrumental Rationality.Markos Valaris - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 20 (4):443-462.
    Does rationality require us to take the means to our ends? Intuitively, it seems clear that it does. And yet it has proven difficult to explain why this should be so: after all, if one is pursuing an end that one has decisive reason not to pursue, the balance of reasons will presumably speak against one's taking the means necessary to bring that end about. In this paper I propose a novel account of the instrumental requirement which addresses this problem. (...)
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  • Instrumental rationality, symmetry and scope.John Brunero - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (1):125-140.
    Instrumental rationality prohibits one from being in the following state: intending to pass a test, not intending to study, and believing one must intend to study if one is to pass. One could escape from this incoherent state in three ways: by intending to study, by not intending to pass, or by giving up one’s instrumental belief. However, not all of these ways of proceeding seem equally rational: giving up one’s instrumental belief seems less rational than giving up an end, (...)
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  • The Normativity of Rationality.Jonathan Way - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (12):1057-1068.
    This article is an introduction to the recent debate about whether rationality is normative – that is, very roughly, about whether we should have attitudes which fit together in a coherent way. I begin by explaining an initial problem – the “detaching problem” – that arises on the assumption that we should have coherent attitudes. I then explain the prominent “wide-scope” solution to this problem, and some of the central objections to it. I end by considering the options that arise (...)
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  • Intention rationality.Michael E. Bratman - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (3):227-241.
    The practical thought of planning agents is subject to distinctive rationality norms. In particular, there are norms of intention consistency and of means-end coherence. I discuss the normative significance of these norms and their relation to practical reasons. I seek a path between views that see these norms as, at bottom, norms of theoretical rationality, and views that see the idea that these norms have distinctive normative significance as a 'myth'. And I seek to distinguish these norms from principles about (...)
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  • The symmetry of rational requirements.Jonathan Way - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (2):227-239.
    Some irrational states can be avoided in more than one way. For example, if you believe that you ought to A you can avoid akrasia by intending to A or by dropping the belief that you ought to A. This supports the claim that some rational requirements are wide-scope. For instance, the requirement against akrasia is a requirement to intend to A or not believe that you ought to A. But some writers object that this Wide-Scope view ignores asymmetries between (...)
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  • Recent work on normativity.Stephen Finlay - 2010 - Analysis 70 (2):331-346.
    Survey of some recent literature on normativity, including nonreductionist, neo-Aristotelian, neo-Humean, expressivist, and constructivist views.
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  • Instrumental rationality.Ralph Wedgwood - 2011 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 6:280-309.
    Is there any distinctive aspect of rationality that deserves the label of “instrumental rationality”? Recently, Joseph Raz (2005) has argued that instrumental rationality is a “myth”. In this essay, I shall give some qualified support to Raz’s position: as I shall argue, many philosophers have indeed been seduced by certain myths about instrumental rationality. Nonetheless, Raz’s conclusion is too strong. Instrumental rationality is not itself a myth: there really is a distinctive aspect of rationality that deserves the label of “instrumental (...)
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  • Intention, practical rationality, and self‐governance.Michael E. Bratman - 2009 - Ethics 119 (3):411-443.
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  • What ought probably means, and why you can’t detach it.Stephen Finlay - 2009 - Synthese 177 (1):67 - 89.
    Some intuitive normative principles raise vexing 'detaching problems' by their failure to license modus ponens. I examine three such principles (a self-reliance principle and two different instrumental principles) and recent stategies employed to resolve their detaching problems. I show that solving these problems necessitates postulating an indefinitely large number of senses for 'ought'. The semantics for 'ought' that is standard in linguistics offers a unifying strategy for solving these problems, but I argue that an alternative approach combining an end-relational theory (...)
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  • The Myth of Practical Consistency.Niko Kolodny - 2008 - European Journal of Philosophy 16 (3):366-402.
    Niko Kolodny It is often said that there is a special class of norms, ‘rational requirements’, that demand that our attitudes be related one another in certain ways, whatever else may be the case.1 In recent work, a special class of these rational requirements has attracted particular attention: what I will call ‘requirements of formal coherence as such’, which require just that our attitudes be formally coherent.2 For example, we are rationally required, if we believe something, to believe what it (...)
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  • How Does Coherence Matter?Niko Kolodny - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt3):229 - 263.
    Recently, much attention has been paid to ‘rational requirements’ and, especially, to what I call ‘rational requirements of formal coherence as such’. These requirements are satisfied just when our attitudes are formally coherent: for example, when our beliefs do not contradict each other. Nevertheless, these requirements are puzzling. In particular, it is unclear why we should satisfy them. In light of this, I explore the conjecture that there are no requirements of formal coherence. I do so by trying to construct (...)
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  • Having reasons and the factoring account.Errol Lord - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (3):283 - 296.
    It’s natural to say that when it’s rational for me to φ, I have reasons to φ. That is, there are reasons for φ-ing, and moreover, I have some of them. Mark Schroeder calls this view The Factoring Account of the having reasons relation. He thinks The Factoring Account is false. In this paper, I defend The Factoring Account. Not only do I provide intuitive support for the view, but I also defend it against Schroeder’s criticisms. Moreover, I show that (...)
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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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  • The Conflict of Evidence and Coherence.Alex Worsnip - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (1):3-44.
    For many epistemologists, and for many philosophers more broadly, it is axiomatic that rationality requires you to take the doxastic attitudes that your evidence supports. Yet there is also another current in our talk about rationality. On this usage, rationality is a matter of the right kind of coherence between one's mental attitudes. Surprisingly little work in epistemology is explicitly devoted to answering the question of how these two currents of talk are related. But many implicitly assume that evidence -responsiveness (...)
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  • Moral reasons, epistemic reasons, and rationality.Alex Worsnip - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (263):341-361.
    It is standard, both in the philosophical literature and in ordinary parlance, to assume that one can fall short of responding to all one’s moral reasons without being irrational. Yet when we turn to epistemic reasons, the situation could not be more different. Most epistemologists take it as axiomatic that for a belief to be rational is for it to be well-supported by epistemic reasons. We find ourselves with a striking asymmetry, then, between the moral and epistemic domains concerning what (...)
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  • An Objectivist’s Guide to Subjective Reasons.Daniel Wodak - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (2):229-244.
    The distinction between objective and subjective reasons plays an important role in both folk normative thought and many research programs in metaethics. But the relation between objective and subjective reasons is unclear. This paper explores problems related to the unity of objective and subjective reasons for actions and attitudes and then offers a novel objectivist account of subjective reasons.
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  • Can Objectivists Account for Subjective Reasons?Daniel Wodak - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12 (3):259-279.
    I argue that existing objectivist accounts of subjective reasons face systematic problems with cases involving probability and possibility. I then offer a diagnosis of why objectivists face these problems, and recommend that objectivists seek to provide indirect analyses of subjective reasons.
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  • Against Second‐Order Reasons.Daniel Whiting - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):398-420.
    A normative reason for a person to? is a consideration which favours?ing. A motivating reason is a reason for which or on the basis of which a person?s. This paper explores a connection between normative and motivating reasons. More specifically, it explores the idea that there are second-order normative reasons to? for or on the basis of certain first-order normative reasons. In this paper, I challenge the view that there are second-order reasons so understood. I then show that prominent views (...)
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  • Normative Transmission and Necessary Means.Jakob Green Werkmäster - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (2):555-568.
    This paper focuses on the interaction of reasons and argues that reasons for an action may transmit to the necessary means of that action. Analyzing exactly how this phenomenon may be captured by principles governing normative transmission has proved an intricate task in recent years. In this paper, I assess three formulations focusing on normative transmission and necessary means: Ought Necessity, Strong Necessity, and Weak Necessity. My focus is on responding to two of the main objections raised against normative transmission (...)
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  • Instrumental Rationality.Markos Valaris - 2014 - European Journal of Philosophy 22 (3):443-462.
    Does rationality require us to take the means to our ends? Intuitively, it seems clear that it does. And yet it has proven difficult to explain why this should be so: after all, if one is pursuing an end that one has decisive reason not to pursue, the balance of reasons will presumably speak against one's taking the means necessary to bring that end about. In this paper I propose a novel account of the instrumental requirement which addresses this problem. (...)
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