The role of all things considered judgements in practical deliberation

Philosophical Explorations 9 (3):295 – 308 (2006)
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Suppose an agent has made a judgement of the form, 'all things considered, it would be better for me to do a rather than b (or any range of alternatives to doing a)' where a and b stand for particular actions. If she does not act upon her judgement in these circumstances would that be a failure of rationality on her part? In this paper I consider two different interpretations of all things considered judgements which give different answers to this question, one suggested by Donald Davidson, the other by Paul Grice and Judith Baker. I argue that neither interpretation is adequate. However, a third interpretation that combines features of the Grice/Baker view with the Davidsonian view is possible. In the final section of the paper I defend this interpretation against two objections.

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Edmund Henden
Oslo Metropolitan University


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