In (practical) deliberation we aim to decide what to do by considering reasons to act. Deliberation of this sort raises many questions, including: (i) What is the relationship between deliberation and acting for reasons? For instance, is deliberation necessary for acting for a reason? (ii) To what extent is it possible for us to take into account things other than reasons for and against doing A in deliberating about whether to A? What explains any such restriction? (iii) What kind of freedom, if any, is presupposed in deliberation? (iv) What is the relationship between rational deliberation and rational action? For instance, does rational deliberation which concludes in a decision to A ensure that it is rational to A? (v) What kinds of factors make for rational deliberation? Is deliberation about whether to A rational only insofar as it responds to reasons for and against A-ing? Or do other factors – for instance, about the benefits of being disposed to deliberate in certain ways – also bear on the rationality of deliberation? Some philosophers have also discussed the possibility of doxastic deliberation – deliberation about what to believe. Some philosophers have argued that features of doxastic deliberation support the view that belief is essentially normative.
|Key works||For a very helpful recent discussion of (i), see Arpaly & Schroeder 2012. For discussion of (ii) see e.g. Hieronymi 2006, Kavka 1983, and Shah 2008. Much of the literature on (iv) and (v) takes off from David Gauthier's work, especially Gauthier 1986. Morris & Ripstein 2001 is a very useful collection of essays on Gauthier's work. Much of the recent debate about doxastic deliberation begins with Shah 2003.|
- Decision (48)
- Desire and Motivation (51)
- Desire and Reason (113)
- Instrumental Reasoning (85)
- Practical and Theoretical Reasoning (62)
- Rational Requirements (61)
- Pratical Reason, Misc (96)
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David Bourget (Western Ontario)
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