Responsibility for Rationality: Foundations of an Ethics of Mind

New York: Routledge (forthcoming)
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How can we be responsible for our attitudes if we cannot normally choose what we believe, desire, feel, and intend? This problem has received much attention during the last decades, both in epistemology and in ethics. Yet its connections to discussions about reasons and rationality have been largely overlooked. Responsibility for Rationality is the first book that connects recent debates on responsibility and on rationality in a unifying dialectic. It achieves four main goals: first, it reinterprets the problem of responsibility for attitudes as a problem about the normativity of rationality; second, it breaks the stalemate between rationalist and voluntarist accounts of mental responsibility by defending a hybrid view; third, it provides novel support to recent accounts of the normativity of rationality by arguing that epistemic reasons and other ‘right-kind’ reasons are genuine normative reasons; fourth, it sets the foundations and the research agenda for an ‘ethics of mind’, including an illustration of how to approach applied issues in epistemology within the presented framework. After spelling out connections between responsibility and rationality (part I), the book engages in debates in normative epistemology (part II) and brings them to bear on the broader field of an ethics of mind (part III). Full draft of current version available on request, comments welcome!

Author's Profile

Sebastian Schmidt
University of Zürich


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