Retaliation Rationalized: Gauthier's Solution to the Deterrence Dilemma

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 72 (1):9-32 (1991)
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Abstract
Gauthier claims: (1) a non-maximizing action is rational if it maximized to intend it. If one intended to retaliate in order to deter an attack, (2) retaliation is rational, for it maximized to intend it. I argue that even on sympathetic theories of intentions, actions and choices, (1) is incoherent. But I defend (2) by arguing that an action is rational if it maximizes on preferences it maximized to adopt given one's antecedent preferences. (2) is true because it maximized to adopt preferences on which it maximizes to retaliate. I thus save the theory that rational actions must maximize, and extend it into the rational criticism of preferences.
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