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  1. Reconsidering Intentions.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2016 - Noûs:443-472.
    This paper argues that the principles of instrumental rationality apply primarily to extended action through time. Most philosophers assume that rational requirements and principles govern in the first instance momentary mental states, as opposed to governing extended intentional actions directly. In the case of instrumental rationality, the relevant mental states or attitudes would typically be preferences, decisions, or intentions. In fact, even those who recognize the extended nature of our agency still assume that rational requirements apply primarily to mental states (...)
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  • Minimalism about Intention: A Modest Defense.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (3):384-411.
    Inquiry, Volume 57, Issue 3, Page 384-411, June 2014.
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  • An intrapersonal, intertemporal solution to an interpersonal dilemma.Valerie Soon - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3353-3370.
    It is commonly accepted that what we ought to do collectively does not imply anything about what each of us ought to do individually. According to this line of reasoning, if cooperating will make no difference to an outcome, then you are not morally required to do it. And if cooperating will be personally costly to you as well, this is an even stronger reason to not do it. However, this reasoning results in a self-defeating, yet entirely predictable outcome. If (...)
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  • Structural Injustice and Individual Responsibility.Andrea Sangiovanni - 2018 - Journal of Social Philosophy 49 (3):461-483.
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  • Taking the narrow way: Lovering, evil, and knowing what God would do.Ryan Rhodes - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 77 (1):25-35.
    Theists are, according to Lovering, in an “unenviable position.” Lovering . Noting that debates on evil and God’s existence depend conceptually upon claims about what God would or would not do, he lays out three frameworks within which such claims could operate, all of which raise significant problems for theism. While his contention that these arguments depend on such claims is correct, the dire consequences for theism do not follow. After briefly discussing his three alternatives, I will argue that while (...)
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  • How you can help, without making a difference.Julia Nefsky - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2743-2767.
    There are many cases in which people collectively cause some morally significant outcome (such as a harmful or beneficial outcome) but no individual act seems to make a difference. The problem in such cases is that it seems each person can argue, ‘it makes no difference whether or not I do X, so I have no reason to do it.’ The challenge is to say where this argument goes wrong. My approach begins from the observation that underlying the problem and (...)
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  • Regretful Decisions and Climate Change.Rebecca Livernois - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (2):168-191.
    Climate change has made pressing the question of why we do little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By analogy to the puzzle of the self-torturer, I argue that even if interpersonal and intergenerational conflicts of interest were resolved, we may still end up in a regretful environmental state when we aim to maximize our net benefit derived from polluting activities. This is because a rational agent with transitive preferences making climate change decisions faces incentives to over-pollute. This is caused by (...)
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  • Anton's Game: Deontological Decision Theory for an Iterated Decision Problem.Seth Lazar - 2017 - Utilitas 29 (1):88-109.
    How should deontologists approach decision-making under uncertainty, for an iterated decision problem? In this paper I explore the shortcomings of a simple expected value approach, using a novel example to raise questions about attitudes to risk, the moral significance of tiny probabilities, the independent moral reasons against imposing risks, the morality of sunk costs, and the role of agent-relativity in iterated decision problems.
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  • Non-Measurability, Imprecise Credences, and Imprecise Chances.Yoaav Isaacs, Alan Hájek & John Hawthorne - 2021 - Mind 131 (523):892-916.
    – We offer a new motivation for imprecise probabilities. We argue that there are propositions to which precise probability cannot be assigned, but to which imprecise probability can be assigned. In such cases the alternative to imprecise probability is not precise probability, but no probability at all. And an imprecise probability is substantially better than no probability at all. Our argument is based on the mathematical phenomenon of non-measurable sets. Non-measurable propositions cannot receive precise probabilities, but there is a natural (...)
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  • Utility cascades.Max Khan Hayward - 2020 - Analysis 80 (3):433-442.
    Utility cascades occur when a utilitarian’s reduction of support for an intervention reduces the effectiveness of that intervention, leading the utilitarian to further reduce support, thereby further undermining effectiveness, and so on, in a negative spiral. This paper illustrates the mechanisms by which utility cascades occur, and then draws out the theoretical and practical implications. Theoretically, utility cascades provide an argument that the utilitarian agent should sometimes either ignore evidence about effectiveness or fail to apportion support to effectiveness. Practically, utility (...)
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  • Tenenbaum and Raffman on Vague Projects, the Self-Torturer, and the Sorites.Luke Elson - 2016 - Ethics 126 (2):474-488.
    Sergio Tenenbaum and Diana Raffman contend that ‘vague projects’ motivate radical revisions to orthodox, utility-maximising rational choice theory. Their argument cannot succeed if such projects merely ground instances of the paradox of the sorites, or heap. Tenenbaum and Raffman are not blind to this, and argue that Warren Quinn’s Puzzle of the Self-Torturer does not rest on the sorites. I argue that their argument both fails to generalise to most vague projects, and is ineffective in the case of the Self-Torturer (...)
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  • Incommensurability as vagueness: a burden-shifting argument.Luke Elson - 2017 - Theoria 83 (4):341-363.
    Two options are ‘incommensurate’ when neither is better than the other, but they are not equally good. Typically, we will say that one option is better in some ways, and the other in others, but neither is better ‘all things considered’. It is tempting to think that incommensurability is vagueness—that it is (perhaps) indeterminate which is better—but this ‘vagueness view’ of incommensurability has not proven popular. I set out the vagueness view and its implications in more detail, and argue that (...)
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  • Temptation and the Agent’s Standpoint.Michael E. Bratman - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (3):293-310.
    Suppose you resolve now to resist an expected temptation later while knowing that once the temptation arrives your preference or evaluative assessment will shift in favor of that temptation. Are there defensible norms of rational planning agency that support sticking with your prior intention in the face of such a shift at the time of temptation and in the absence of relevant new information? This article defends the idea that it might be rational to stick with your prior intention in (...)
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  • Rational Planning Agency.Michael E. Bratman - 2017 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 80:25-48.
    Our planning agency contributes to our lives in fundamental ways. Prior partial plans settle practical questions about the future. They thereby pose problems of means, filter solutions to those problems, and guide action. This plan-infused background frames our practical thinking in ways that cohere with our resource limits and help organize our lives, both over time and socially. And these forms of practical thinking involve guidance by norms of plan rationality, including norms of plan consistency, means-end coherence, and stability over (...)
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  • Intentional mind-wandering as intentional omission: the surrealist method.Santiago Arango-Muñoz & Juan Pablo Bermúdez - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7727-7748.
    Mind-wandering seems to be paradigmatically unintentional. However, experimental findings have yielded the paradoxical result that mind-wandering can also be intentional. In this paper, we first present the paradox of intentional mind-wandering and then explain intentional mind-wandering as the intentional omission to control one’s own thoughts. Finally, we present the surrealist method for artistic production to illustrate how intentional omission of control over thoughts can be deployed towards creative endeavors.
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  • The real puzzle of the self-torturer: uncovering a new dimension of instrumental rationality.Chrisoula Andreou - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (5-6):562-575.
    The puzzle of the self-torturer raises intriguing questions concerning rationality, cyclic preferences, and resoluteness. Interestingly, what makes the case puzzling has not been clearly pinpointed. The puzzle, it seems, is that a series of rational choices foreseeably leads the self-torturer to an option that serves his preferences worse than the one with which he started. But this is a very misleading way of casting the puzzle. I pinpoint the real puzzle of the self-torturer and, in the process, reveal a neglected (...)
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  • Temptation, Resolutions, and Regret.Chrisoula Andreou - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (3):275-292.
    Discussion of temptation has figured prominently in recent debates concerning instrumental rationality. In light of some particularly interesting cases in which giving in to temptation involves acting in accordance with one’s current evaluative rankings, two lines of thought have been developed: one appeals to the possibility of deviating from a well-grounded resolution, and the other appeals to the possibility of being insufficiently responsive to the prospect of future regret. But the current appeals to resolutions and regret and some of the (...)
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  • The good, the bad, and the trivial.Chrisoula Andreou - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (2):209-225.
    Dreadful and dreaded outcomes are sometimes brought about via the accumulation of individually trivial effects. Think about inching toward terrible health or toward an environmental disaster. In some such cases, the outcome is seen as unacceptable but is still gradually realized via an extended sequence of moves each of which is trivial in terms of its impact on the health or environment of those involved. Cases of this sort are not only practically challenging, they are theoretically challenging as well. For, (...)
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  • Better than.Chrisoula Andreou - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (6):1621-1638.
    It is commonly held that rational preferences must be acyclic. There have, however, been cases that have been put forward as counterexamples to this view. This paper focuses on the following question: If the counterexamples are compelling and rational preferences can be cyclic, what should we conclude about the presumed acyclicity of the “better than” relation? Building on some revisionary suggestions concerning acyclicity and betterness, I make a case for hanging on to the presumption that “better than” is acyclic even (...)
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  • Self-control and Akrasia.Christine Tappolet - 2017 - In Kevin Timpe, Meghan Griffith & Neil Levy (eds.), Routledge Companion to Free Will. New York: Routledge.
    Akratic actions are often being thought to instantiate a paradigmatic self-control failure. . If we suppose that akrasia is opposed to self-control, the question is how akratic actions could be free and intentional. After all, it would seem that it is only if an action manifests self-control that it can count as free. My plan is to explore the relation between akrasia and self-control. The first section presents what I shall call the standard conception, according to which akrasia and self-control (...)
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  • What’s a rational self-torturer to do?Douglas W. Portmore - manuscript
    This paper concerns Warren Quinn’s famous “The Puzzle of the Self-Torturer.” I argue that even if we accept his assumption that practical rationality is purely instrumental such that what he ought to do is simply a function of how the relevant options compare to each other in terms of satisfying his actual preferences that doesn’t mean that every explanation as to why he shouldn’t advance to the next level must appeal to the idea that so advancing would be suboptimal in (...)
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  • Lopsided Lives.Theron Pummer - 2017 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 275-296.
    Intuitively there are many different things that non-derivatively contribute to well-being: pleasure, desire satisfaction, knowledge, friendship, love, rationality, freedom, moral virtue, and appreciation of true beauty. According to pluralism, at least two different types of things non-derivatively contribute to well-being. Lopsided lives score very low in terms of some types of things that putatively non-derivatively contribute to well-being, but very high in terms of other such types of things. I argue that pluralists essentially face a trilemma about lopsided lives: they (...)
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  • The Sorites Paradox in Practical Philosophy.Hrafn Asgeirsson - 2019 - In Sergi Oms & Elia Zardini (eds.), The Sorites Paradox. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. pp. 229–245.
    The first part of the chapter surveys some of the main ways in which the Sorites Paradox has figured in arguments in practical philosophy in recent decades, with special attention to arguments where the paradox is used as a basis for criticism. Not coincidentally, the relevant arguments all involve the transitivity of value in some way. The second part of the chapter is more probative, focusing on two main themes. First, I further address the relationship between the Sorites Paradox and (...)
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  • The Puzzle of Wandering Inquiry.Susanna Siegel - manuscript
    Inquiry is guided, in the minimal sense that it is not haphazard. It is also often thought to have as a natural stopping point ceasing to inquire, once inquiry into a question yields knowledge of an answer. On this picture, inquiry is both telic and guided. By contrast, mind-wandering is unguided and atelic, according to the most extensively developed philosophical theory of it. This paper articulates a puzzle that arises from this combination of claims: there seem to be plenty of (...)
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  • Sorites On What Matters.Theron Pummer - 2022 - In Jeff McMahan, Timothy Campbell, Ketan Ramakrishnan & Jimmy Goodrich (eds.), Ethics and Existence: The Legacy of Derek Parfit. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 498–523.
    Ethics in the tradition of Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons is riddled with sorites-like arguments, which lead us by what seem innocent steps to seemingly false conclusions. Take, for example, spectrum arguments for the Repugnant Conclusion that appeal to slight differences in quality of life. Several authors have taken the view that, since spectrum arguments are structurally analogous to sorites arguments, the correct response to spectrum arguments is structurally analogous to the correct response to sorites arguments. This sorites analogy is (...)
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  • Dynamic choice.Chrisoula Andreou - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Sometimes a series of choices do not serve one's concerns well even though each choice in the series seems perfectly well suited to serving one's concerns. In such cases, one has a dynamic choice problem. Otherwise put, one has a problem related to the fact that one's choices are spread out over time. This survey reviews some of the challenging choice situations and problematic preference structures that can prompt dynamic choice problems. It also reviews some proposed solutions, and explains how (...)
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  • What rationality is.Arif Ahmed -
    A choice function C is rational iff: if it allows a path through a sequence of decisions with a particular outcome, then that outcome is amongst the ones that C would have chosen from amongst all the possible outcomes of the sequence. This implies, and it is the strongest definition that implies, that anyone who is irrational could be talked out of their own preferences. It also implies weak but non-vacuous constraints on choices over ends. These do not include alpha (...)
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  • Climate Change and Individual Obligations: A Dilemma for the Expected Utility Approach, and the Need for an Imperfect View.Julia Nefsky - 2021 - In Philosophy and Climate Change. Oxford, UK: pp. 201-221.
    This chapter concerns the nature of our obligations as individuals when it comes to our emissions-producing activities and climate change. The first half of the chapter argues that the popular ‘expected utility’ approach to this question faces a problematic dilemma: either it gives skeptical verdicts, saying that there are no such obligations, or it yields implausibly strong verdicts. The second half of the chapter diagnoses the problem. It is argued that the dilemma arises from a very general feature of the (...)
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  • Sich in die eigene Tasche lügen? Selbsttäuschung als irrationales Projekt.Amber Griffioen - 2017 - PHILOKLES: Zeitschrift Für Populäre Philosophie 21:4-23.
    This article for the PHILOKLES Journal for Popular Philosophy surveys a few common theoretical approaches to the phenomenon of self-deception before putting forward a thus far relatively unexplored intentionalist option, namely what the author calls the "project model of self-deception". On this model, self-deception is understood as a dynamic, diachronic activity, aimed at the preservation of a certain self-image, to which an agent is implicitly committed. The author shows how this model can make subjects responsible for their self-deceptions without running (...)
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  • Decision Theory.Johanna Thoma - 2019 - In Richard Pettigrew & Jonathan Weisberg (eds.), The Open Handbook of Formal Epistemology. PhilPapers Foundation. pp. 57-106.
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