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The Normativity of Rationality

Philosophy Compass 5 (12):1057-1068 (2010)

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  1. The Normative Error Theorist Cannot Avoid Self-Defeat.Spencer Case - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (1):92-104.
    ABSTRACTMany philosophers have noted that normative error theorists appear to be committed to saying ‘Error theory is true, but I have no reason to believe it’, which seems paradoxical. In defence...
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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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  • 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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  • What Carroll’s Tortoise Actually Proves.Jan Willem Wieland - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):983-997.
    Rationality requires us to have certain propositional attitudes (beliefs, intentions, etc.) given certain other attitudes that we have. Carroll’s Tortoise repeatedly shows up in this discussion. Following up on Brunero (Ethical Theory Moral Pract 8:557–569, 2005), I ask what Carroll-style considerations actually prove. This paper rejects two existing suggestions, and defends a third.
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  • Explosion and the Normativity of Logic.Florian Steinberger - 2016 - Mind 125 (498):385-419.
    Logic has traditionally been construed as a normative discipline; it sets forth standards of correct reasoning. Explosion is a valid principle of classical logic. It states that an inconsistent set of propositions entails any proposition whatsoever. However, ordinary agents presumably do — occasionally, at least — have inconsistent belief sets. Yet it is false that such agents may, let alone ought to, believe any proposition they please. Therefore, our logic should not recognize explosion as a logical law. Call this the (...)
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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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  • Models of Philosophical Thought Experimentation.Jonathan Andy Tapsell - 2014 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    The practice of thought experimentation plays a central role in contemporary philosophical methodology. Many philosophers rely on thought experimentation as their primary and even sole procedure for testing theories about the natures of properties and relations. This test procedure involves entertaining hypothetical cases in imaginative thought and then undergoing intuitions about the distribution of properties and relations in them. A theory’s comporting with an intuition is treated as evidence in favour of it; but a clash is treated as evidence against (...)
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  • Intuitions About Disagreement Do Not Support the Normativity of Meaning.Derek Baker - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (1):65-84.
    Allan Gibbard () argues that the term ‘meaning’ expresses a normative concept, primarily on the basis of arguments that parallel Moore's famous Open Question Argument. In this paper I argue that Gibbard's evidence for normativity rests on idiosyncrasies of the Open Question Argument, and that when we use related thought experiments designed to bring out unusual semantic intuitions associated with normative terms we fail to find such evidence. These thought experiments, moreover, strongly suggest there are basic requirements for a theory (...)
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  • The Varieties of Normativity.Derek Clayton Baker - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 567-581.
    This paper discusses varieties of normative phenomena, ranging from morality, to epistemic justification, to the rules of chess. It canvases a number of distinctions among these different normative phenomena. The most significant distinction is between formal and authoritative normativity. The prior is the normativity exhibited by any standard one can meet or fail to meet. The latter is the sort of normativity associated with phenomena like the "all-things-considered" ought. The paper ends with a brief discussion of reasons for skepticism about (...)
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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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  • Semantic Blindness and Error Theorizing for the Ambiguity Theory of ‘Knows’.Mark Satta - 2018 - Analysis 78 (2):275-284.
    The ambiguity theory of ‘knows’ is the view that ‘knows’ and its cognates have more than one propositional sense – i.e. more than one sense that can properly be used in ‘knows that’ etc. constructions. Given that most of us are ‘intuitive invariantists’ – i.e. most of us initially have the intuition that ‘knows’ is univocal – defenders of the ambiguity theory need to offer an explanation for the semantic blindness present if ‘knows’ is in fact ambiguous. This paper is (...)
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  • The Intelligibility of Moral Intransigence: A Dilemma for Cognitivism About Moral Judgment.Richard Rowland - 2018 - Analysis 78 (2):266-275.
    Many have argued that various features of moral disagreements create problems for cognitivism about moral judgment, but these arguments have been shown to fail. In this paper, I articulate a new problem for cognitivism that derives from features of our responses to moral disagreement. I argue that cognitivism entails that one of the following two claims is false: a mental state is a belief only if it tracks changes in perceived evidence; it is intelligible to make moral judgments that do (...)
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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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  • Rationality has its Reasons, of Which Reason Knows Not: A Vindication of the Normativity of Rationality.Bruno Guindon - unknown
    There is a growing consensus, long maintained by Derek Parfit, that there is an important distinction between what we have reason to do on the one hand, and what it is rational for us to do on the other. Philosophers are now realising that there is a conceptual distinction between rationality and normativity. Given this distinction, it thus becomes a substantive question whether rationality is genuinely normative; that is, whether there is any reason to do what rationality requires. While some (...)
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  • Neo-Kantian Constructivism and Metaethics.Kirk Surgener - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham
    Christine Korsgaard has attempted to defend a distinct approach to metaethics – Neo-Kantian Constructivism. Not only does she present a positive case for her own view, she also attacks existing metaethical positions and even the disctinctions that metaethics has traditionally relied on. This thesis is a sustained examination of this position. I consider whether Korsgaard can legitimately claim to be offering a metaethical position at all, providing her with some defence against the scepticism of some metaethicists. I also examine her (...)
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  • Rational Choice. [REVIEW]Olivier Roy - 2012 - Economics and Philosophy 28 (1).
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  • Rationality, Virtue and Higher‐Order Coherence.Jens Gillessen - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (3):411-436.
    Since it is hard to see how subjective rationality could be normative, a humbler, purely evaluative account of rationality’s importance has been suggested: rationality is a non-moral virtue, and rational action is good so far as it reveals that an agent ‘functions well’. This paper argues, however, that even this fallback position is threatened by ‘eccentric billionaire’ scenarios: sometimes, flouting purported coherence standards of rationality is maximally virtuous. In defense of the virtue account, I argue that a novel view of (...)
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  • Understanding and Its Role in Inquiry.Benjamin T. Rancourt - unknown
    In this dissertation, I argue that understanding possesses unique epistemic value. I propose and defend a novel account of understanding that I call the management account of understanding, which is the view that an agent A understands a subject matter S just in case A has the ability to extract the relevant information and exploit it with the relevant cognitive capacities to answer questions in S. Since inquiry is the process of raising and answering questions, I argue that without understanding, (...)
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  • Moral Rationalism and the Normativity of Constitutive Principles.Zachary Bachman - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (1):1-19.
    Recently, Christine Bratu and Mortiz Dittmeyer have argued that Christine Korsgaard’s constitutive project fails to establish the normativity of practical principles because it fails to show why a principle’s being constitutive of a practice shows that one ought to conform to that principle. They argue that in many cases a principle’s being constitutive of a practice has no bearing on whether one ought to conform to it. In this paper I argue that Bratu and Dittmeyer’s argument fails in three important (...)
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  • Sources, Reasons, and Requirements.Bruno Guindon - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1253-1268.
    This paper offers two competing accounts of normative requirements, each of which purports to explain why some—but not all—requirements are normative in the sense of being related to normative reasons in some robust way. According to the reasons-sensitive view, normative requirements are those and only those which are sensitive to normative reasons. On this account, normative requirements are second-order statements about what there is conclusive reason to do, in the broad sense of the term. According to the reasons-providing view—which I (...)
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