Practical Reasoning

In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford University Press (2018)
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Abstract
This chapter presents two contemporary pictures of practical reasoning. According to the Rule-Guidance Conception, roughly, practical reasoning is a rule-guided operation of acquiring (or retaining or giving up) intentions so as to meet synchronic requirements of rationality. According to the Reasons-Responsiveness Conception, practical reasoning is a process of responding to reasons we take ourselves to have, and its standards of correctness derive from what we objectively have reason to do, if things are as we suppose them to be. I argue that a version of the latter has some significant advantages. This has some surprising consequences for how we should conceive of the structure of instrumental reasoning in particular.
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