The groundless normativity of instrumental rationality

Journal of Philosophy 98 (9):445-468 (2001)
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Abstract
Neo-Humean instrumentalist theories of reasons for acting have been presented with a dilemma: either they are normatively trivial and, hence, inadequate as a normative theory or they covertly commit themselves to a noninstrumentalist normative principle. The claimed result is that no purely instrumentalist theory of reasons for acting can be normatively adequate. This dilemma dissolves when we understand what question neo-Humean instrumentalists are addressing. The dilemma presupposes that neo-Humeans are attempting to address the question of how to act, 'simpliciter'. Instead, they are evaluating actions from the agent's normative perspective.
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0022-362X
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HUBTGN
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Archival date: 2014-05-02
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