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  1. Robert Alexy (1992). A Discourse-Theoretical Conception of Practical Reason. Ratio Juris 5 (3):231-251.
    Contemporary discussions about practical reason or practical rationality invoke four competing views which can be named as follows by reference to their historical models: Aristotelian, Hobbesian, Kantian and Nietzschean. The subject-matter of this article is a defence of the Kantian conception of practical rationality in the interpretation of discourse theory. At the heart, lies the justification and the application of the rules of discourse. An argument consisting of three parts is pre sented to justify the rules of discourse. The three (...)
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  2. John Altmann, The Nature of Consequence.
    The Nature of Consequence is a sequel to the Treatise, and expounds more on the force that is Consequence and its significance as it pertains to what is "moral" or "immoral".
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  3. John Altmann, Treatise on Morality.
    The Treatise on Morality aims to put in place a logical framework for how moral philosophy should be perceived and discussed. It boils down certain aspects of morality to mere linguistics, and even goes as far as to delineate how we act into mathematics.
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  4. Alfred Archer (2014). Moral Rationalism Without Overridingness. Ratio 27 (1):100-114.
    Moral Rationalism is the view that if an act is morally required then it is what there is most reason to do. It is often assumed that the truth of Moral Rationalism is dependent on some version of The Overridingness Thesis, the view that moral reasons override nonmoral reasons. However, as Douglas Portmore has pointed out, the two can come apart; we can accept Moral Rationalism without accepting any version of The Overridingness Thesis. Nevertheless, The Overridingness Thesis serves as one (...)
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  5. Alfred Archer (2014). Sebastian Schleidgen (Ed.): Should We Act Morally? Essays on Overridingness. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (2):349-350.
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  6. Steven Arkonovich (2013). Varieties of Reasons/Motives Internalism. Philosophy Compass 8 (3):210-219.
    Under what conditions do you have a reason to perform some action? Do you only have reason to do what you want to do? Reasons-motives internalism is the appealingly simple view that unless an agent is, or could be, motivated to act in a certain way, he has no normative reason to act in that way. Thus, according to reasons-motives internalism, facts about an individual’s motivational psychology constrain what is rational for that agent to do. This article canvasses several ways (...)
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  7. Nomy Arpaly (2002). Unprincipled Virtue: An Inquiry Into Moral Agency. Oxford University Press Usa.
    Both observation and psychology indicate that people act rationally without deliberation, and act irrationally with deliberation. By questioning the notion that our own minds are comprehensible to us--and therefore questioning much of the current work of action theorists and ethicists--Arpaly attempts to develop a more realistic conception of moral agency.
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  8. Carla Bagnoli (2012). “Kant’s Contribution to Moral Epistemology”. Paradigmi 1:69-79.
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  9. Carla Bagnoli (2009). “Practical Necessity: The Subjective Experience”. In W. Huemer & B. Centi (eds.), Value and Ontology. Ontos-Verlag
  10. Kurt Baier (1988). Rationality, Value, and Preference. Social Philosophy and Policy 5 (2):17.
    Gauthier's magnificent book erects a conception of morality, “morals by agreement,” on the foundation of his own theory of practical rationality. This is as it should be if, as he claims, following Hobbes and others, there is an initial “presumption against morality” and no theory of morals “can ever serve any useful purpose, unless it can show that all the duties it recommends are also truly endorsed in each individual's reason”, indeed, that it is a requirement of rationality that one (...)
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  11. Luz Marina Barreto, Moral Reasoning. Moral Motivation and the Rational Foundation of Morals.
    In the following paper I will examine the possibility for a rational foundation of morals, rational in the sense that to ground a moral statement on reason amounts to being able to convince an unmotivated agent to conform to a moral rule - that is to say, to “rationally motivate” him (as Habermas would have said) to act in ways for which he or she had no previous reason to act. We will scrutinize the “internalist’s” objection (in Williams’ definition) to (...)
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  12. Lawrence C. Becker (1973). On Justifying Moral Judgments. New York,Humanities Press.
    Much discussion of morality presupposes that moral judgments are always, at bottom, arbitrary. Moral scepticism, or at least moral relativism, has become common currency among the liberally educated. This remains the case even while political crises become intractable, and it is increasingly apparent that the scope of public policy formulated with no reference to moral justification is extremely limited. The thesis of On Justifying Moral Judgments insists, on the contrary, that rigorous justifications are possible for moral judgments. Crucially, Becker argues (...)
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  13. Noell Birondo (2013). Rationalism in Ethics. In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell 4329-4338.
    The word 'rationalism,' as it appears in philosophical discussions of ethics and morality, signifies at least one of a cluster of theses, each of which connects some aspect of ethical experience to reason or rationality. The most provocative rationalist thesis arises in contemporary discussions in metaethics; and it is this thesis that remains the most likely referent, in contemporary discussions, of the phrase 'moral rationalism.' The thesis is more accurately referred to, however, as metaethical rationalism, since it concerns the provenance (...)
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  14. Sophie Botros (2006). Hume, Reason and Morality: A Legacy of Contradiction. Routledge.
    Covering an important theme in Humean studies, this book focuses on Humes hugely influential account of the relation between reason and morality, found in book three of his Treatise of Human Nature . Arguing that this account includes a fundamental contradiction that has gone unnoticed in modern debate, this fascinating volume contains a refreshing combination of historical-scholarly work and contemporary analysis that seeks to expose this contradiction and therefore provide a significant contribution to current scholarship in the area. Beginning by (...)
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  15. David O. Brink, Handout #5: Anti-Rationalism and Internalism About Practical Reason.
    Given these worries about strategic ethical egoism, we might conclude that morality and rationality are two independent points of view. We might agree that morality is impartial but insist that practical reason is instrumental or prudential. If so, we can see how there might be conflicts between practical reason and other-regarding morality, because other-regarding duties need not always advance the agent's own aims and interests. If there can be such conflicts, then immoral action is not necessarily irrational. If so, we (...)
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  16. David O. Brink (1988). Sidgwick's Dualism of Practical Reason. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 66 (3):291 – 307.
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  17. David O. Brink, Handout #2: Moral Motivation and Rationalism.
    We have looked at worries about expressivism and other forms of noncognitivism. The externalist solution may also seem to be a solution of last resort, because it may seem to deny the platitude that moral judgments are motivationally efficacious. For this reason, we might look seriously at rationalist theories of moral motivation, because they promise to represent moral judgments as intrinsically motivational without giving up cognitivism.
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  18. Richmond Campbell & Victor Kumar (2012). Moral Reasoning on the Ground. Ethics 122 (2):273-312.
    We present a unified empirical and philosophical account of moral consistency reasoning, a distinctive form of moral reasoning that exposes inconsistencies among moral judgments about concrete cases. Judgments opposed in belief or in emotion and motivation are inconsistent when the cases are similar in morally relevant respects. Moral consistency reasoning, we argue, regularly shapes moral thought and feeling by coordinating two systems described in dual process models of moral cognition. Our empirical explanation of moral change fills a gap in the (...)
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  19. Hugh Chandler, Some Remarks on Hills's The Beloved Self.
    Here are a few remarks in regard to the first section of Alison Hills’s The Beloved Self. The topic is various forms of ‘Egoism.’ These are taken to be theories of practical reason – alternative answers to the question ‘what have I reason to do?’.
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  20. Ruth Chang (2001). Against Constitutive Incommensurability or Buying and Selling Friends. Noûs 35 (s1):33 - 60.
    Recently, some of the leading proponents of the view that there is widespread incommensurability among goods have suggested that the incommensurability of some goods is a constitutive feature of the goods themselves. So, for example, a friendship and a million dollars are incommensurable because it is part of what it is to be a friendship that it be incommensurable with money. According to these ‘constitutive incommensurabilists’ incommensurability follows from the very nature of certain goods. In this paper, I examine this (...)
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  21. Zhen Chen (1999). A Puzzle About Morality and Rationality. Dissertation, Wayne State University
    The task of this dissertation is to solve a puzzle about morality and prudential rationality. The puzzle is that we want to always act both morally and rationally but sometimes we cannot. Many philosophers try to solve the puzzle by showing that morality and prudential rationality are always consistent or showing that one is always superior to the other, but, as I shall argue, this is impossible. I explore different theories of practical rationality under four major categories: agent-relative internalism and (...)
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  22. Allen Coates (2013). The Enkratic Requirement. European Journal of Philosophy 21 (2):320-333.
    : Agents are enkratic when they intend to do what they believe they should. That rationality requires you to be enkratic is uncontroversial, yet you may be enkratic in a way that does not exhibit any rationality on your part. Thus, what I call the enkratic requirement demands that you be enkratic in the right way. In particular, I will argue that it demands that you base your belief about what you should do and your intention to do it on (...)
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  23. Allen Coates (2006). Ethical Internalism and Cognitive Theories of Motivation. Philosophical Studies 129 (2):295 - 315.
    Cognitive internalism is the view that moral judgments are both cognitive and motivating. Philosophers have found cognitive internalism to be attractive in part because it seems to offer support for the idea that moral reasons are categorical, that is, independent of agents’ desires. In this paper, I argue that it offers no such support.
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  24. Bradford Cokelet (2008). Ideal Agency and the Possibility of Error. Ethics 118 (2):315-323.
    In “Practical Reason and the Possibility of Error," Douglas Lavin claims to have discovered a paradox deep in the heart of Christine Korsgaard’s neo-Kantian project. I argue that Lavin's criticism rests on a mistaken conception of ideal agency. In particular, he falsely assumes that since it is no accident that an ideal agent lives up to sound norms, it must have been impossible for her to deviate from them.
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  25. David Copp & David Sobel (2002). Desires, Motives, and Reasons: Scanlon's Rationalistic Moral Psychology. Social Theory and Practice 28 (2):243-76.
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  26. Stephen Darwall (2006). Morality and Practical Reason: A Kantian Approach. In David Copp (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory. Oxford University Press 282--320.
  27. Caleb Dewey, Naturalism Favours Utilitarianism.
    Ever since the founding of utilitarianism, philosophers have noted that naturalists (among others) have a particular affinity towards utilitarianism. In 1999, Jon Mendle explored whether naturalism actually implied utilitarianism and found that it did not. However, implication is not the only way for naturalism to favour utilitarianism. In this essay, I define utilitarianism in terms of practical reason, which I call ``the utilitarian backstory''. This backstory demonstrates that naturalism creates conditions in which rationality subsumes utilitarianism, making non-utilitarian ethics irrational. In (...)
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  28. James Doyle (2000). Moral Rationalism and Moral Commitment. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (1):1-22.
    Moral rationalism is identified as the view that moral constraints are rational constraints. This view seems implausible to many because it seems to involve belief in the fantastic-sounding possibility of egoist-conversion: that, in principle, an argument for moral constraints could be produced which would motivate a rational person who does not yet accept those constraints to observe them. Furthermore, the Humean want-belief model of motivation---the view that beliefs alone are incapable of motivating---seems to provide a good explanation for the impossibility (...)
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  29. James Dreier (2004). Why Ethical Satisficing Makes Sense and Rational Satisficing Doesn't. In Michael Byron (ed.), Satisficing and Maximizing. Cambridge University Press
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  30. David Enoch (2007). Rationality, Coherence, Convergence: A Critical Comment on Michael Smith's Ethics and the a Priori. Philosophical Books 48 (2):99-108.
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  31. Philippa Foot (2003). Natural Goodness. Oxford University Press Uk.
    Philippa Foot has for many years been one of the most distinctive and influential thinkers in moral philosophy. Long dissatisfied with the moral theories of her contemporaries, she has gradually evolved a theory of her own that is radically opposed not only to emotivism and prescriptivism but also to the whole subjectivist, anti-naturalist movement deriving from David Hume. Dissatisfied also with both Kantian and utilitarian ethics, she claims to have isolated a special form of evaluation that predicates goodness and defect (...)
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  32. Roberto Frega (2010). From Judgment to Rationality: Dewey's Epistemology of Practice. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 46 (4):591-610.
    The question of rationality and of its role in human agency has been at the core of pragmatist concerns since the beginning of this movement. While Peirce framed the horizon of a new understanding of human reason through the idea of inquiry as aiming at belief-fixation and James stressed the individualistic drives that move individuals to action, it is in Dewey’s writing that we find the deepest understanding of the naturalistic and normative traits of rationality considered as the qualifying attribute (...)
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  33. Alan Gewirth, Moral Rationality.
    This is the text of The Lindley Lecture for 1972, given by Alan Gewirth, an American philosopher.
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  34. Anca Gheaus (2011). Love, Hate and Moral Inclusion. In Joseph Carlisle, James Carter & Daniel Whistler (eds.), Moral Powers, Fragile Beliefs: Essays in Moral and Religious Philosophy. Continuum International Publishing Group 29.
  35. Alan H. Goldman (2010). Is Moral Motivation Rationally Required? Journal of Ethics 14 (1):1 - 16.
    The answer to the title question is “No.” The first section argues, using the example of Huckleberry Finn, that rational agents need not be motivated by their explicit judgments of rightness and wrongness. Section II rejects a plausible argument to the conclusion that rational agents must have some moral concerns. The third section clarifies the relevant concept of irrationality and argues that moral incoherence does not equate with this common relevant concept. Section IV questions a rational requirement for prudential concern (...)
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  36. Moti Gorin (2014). Towards a Theory of Interpersonal Manipulation. In Michael Weber Christian Coons (ed.), Manipulation: Theory and Practice. Oxford University Press
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  37. Logi Gunnarsson (2000). Making Moral Sense: Beyond Habermas and Gauthier. Cambridge University Press.
    Is it rational to be moral? Can moral disputes be settled rationally? Which criteria determine what we have a good reason to do? In this innovative book, Logi Gunnarsson takes issue with the assumption made by many philosophers faced with the problem of reconciling moral norms with a scientific world view, namely that morality must be offered a non- moral justification based on a formal concept of rationality. He argues that the criteria for the rationality of an action are irreducibly (...)
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  38. Gilbert Harman, Kelby Mason & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (2010). Moral Reasoning. In John Michael Doris (ed.), The Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press
    What is moral reasoning? For that matter, what is any sort of reasoning? Let me begin by making a few distinctions. First, there is a distinction between reasoning as something that that people do and the abstract structures of proof or “argument” that are the subject matter of formal logic. I will be mainly concerned with reasoning in the first sense, reasoning that people do. Second, there is a distinction between moral reasoning with other people and moral reasoning by and (...)
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  39. Howard H. Harriott (1995). The Lure of Injustice. Ethical Perspectives 2 (3):130-140.
    In a justifiably famous passage in Plato’s Gorgias, Socrates discusses whether or not the truly wicked, those who perpetrate injustices against humankind, can be happy. This issue has been the subject of countless commentaries by moral philosophers. In the end, Socrates comes to the reassuring conclusion that the unjust cannot really be happy.It is well known of course that Socrates argues for what is called by one writer “the supreme crowning paradox” of Socratic ethics: Socrates makes the case that the (...)
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  40. Gerald K. Harrison (2015). Morality, Inescapable Rational Authority, and a God's Wishes. Journal of Religious Ethics 43 (3):454-474.
    It is a supposed conceptual truth about moral norms that we have reason to comply with them even if we desire not to. This combination of rational authority and inescapability is thought to be incompatible with instrumentalism about practical reason. This essay argues that there are ways in which norms with inescapable rational authority can exist alongside instrumentalism about practical reason. One way involves positing an afterlife and a powerful supernatural agency—so, a kind of god—who has total control over our (...)
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  41. Joseph Mark Heath (1995). Morality and Social Action. Dissertation, Northwestern University
    This dissertation attempts to defend a broadly Kantian conception of practical rationality against the type of moral skepticism associated with "rational egoism" models of action. The latter are skeptical insofar as they propose an account of justification that excludes what we normally consider to be specifically moral reasons for action. Underlying this account of justification is what is generally referred to as an instrumental conception of rationality. The adequacy of this variety of moral skepticism can therefore be evaluated by examining (...)
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  42. Lawrence L. Heintz (1984). The Occasional Rightness of Not Following the Requirements of Morality. Philosophy Research Archives 10:477-489.
    Laymen and philosophers alike find it counterintuitive to consent to the assertion that “it is sometimes right not to follow the requirements of morality”. This may be because the conventions of ordinary language do much to encourage the view that “morally ought to do” functions as an equivalent for “what one ought to do all things considered”. In this paper I will argue against such an equivalence and attempt to shake the holders of the prevailing view, that moral reasons are (...)
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  43. Barbara Herman (1990). Morality as Rationality: A Study of Kant's Ethics. Garland.
    First published in 1990. The aim of this thesis is to show that the way to understand the central claims of Kant’s ethics is to accept the idea that morality is a distinctive form of rationality; that the moral "ought" belongs to a system of imperatives based in practical reason; and that moral judgment, therefore, is a species of rational assessment of agents’ actions. It argues, in effect, that you cannot understand Kant’s views about morality if you read him with (...)
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  44. Thomas E. Hill (1992). Dignity and Practical Reason in Kant's Moral Theory. Cornell University Press.
  45. Alison Hills (2004). Is Ethics Rationally Required? Inquiry 47 (1):1 – 19.
    Sidgwick argued that utilitarianism was not rationally required because it could not be shown that a utilitarian theory of practical reason was better justified than a rival egoist theory of practical reason: there is a 'dualism of practical reason' between utilitarianism and egoism. In this paper, it is demonstrated that the dualism argument also applies to Kant's moral theory, the moral law. A prudential theory that is parallel to the moral law is devised, and it is argued that the moral (...)
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  46. Richard Holton, Smith and Bigelow on the Muggletonians.
    In (Holton 1996) I argued that the account of value that Michael Smith has offered was vulnerable to a counter-example in the person of the Muggletonians. Smith argued, roughly, that what one values is what one would desire if one were fully rational. I objected that the Muggletonians held the path of Reason to be the path to evil. According to them, a fully rational person would have their desires so corrupted that they would become, quite literally, Satan. Thus they (...)
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  47. Richard Holton (2004). Rational Resolve. Philosophical Review 113 (4):507-535.
    Empirical findings suggest that temptation causes agents not only to change their desires, but also to revise their beliefs, in ways that are not necessarily irrational. But if this is so, how can it be rational to maintain a resolution to resist? For in maintaining a resolution it appears that one will be acting against what one now believes to be best. This paper proposes a two-tier account according to which it can be rational neither to reconsider the question of (...)
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  48. Brad Hooker & Bart Streumer (2004). Procedural and Substantive Practical Rationality. In Piers Rawling & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Rationality. Oxford: Oxford University Press 57--74.
    This chapter surveys the debate between philosophers who claim that all practical rationality is procedural and philosophers who claim that some practical rationality is substantive.
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  49. Graham Hubbs (2015). On Humean Explanation and Practical Normativity. Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (1):78-95.
    If Hume is correct that the descriptive and the normative are “entirely different” matters, then it would seem to follow that endorsing a given account of action-explanation does not restrict the account of practical normativity one may simultaneously endorse. In this essay, I challenge the antecedent of this conditional by targeting its consequent. Specifically, I argue that if one endorses a Humean account of action-explanation, which many find attractive, one is thereby committed to a Humean account of practical normativity, which (...)
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  50. Graham Hubbs (2013). How Reasons Bear on Intentions. Ethics 124 (1):84-100.
    This paper is a critical response to Mark Schroeder’s recent “The Ubiquity of State-Given Reasons.” In this essay, Schroeder claims that it is possible for a right-kind reason to bear on an intention without that reason bearing on the object of the intention. I examine Schroeder’s central argument for this claim and conclude that it does not deliver the result Schroeder desires. My critique turns on explicating and extending some of G. E. M. Anscombe’s remarks in Intention on the structure (...)
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