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  1. David J. Alexander (2013). The Problem of Respecting Higher-Order Doubt. Philosophers' Imprint 13 (18).
    This paper argues that higher-order doubt generates an epistemic dilemma. One has a higher-order doubt with regards to P insofar as one justifiably withholds belief as to what attitude towards P is justified. That is, one justifiably withholds belief as to whether one is justified in believing, disbelieving, or withholding belief in P. Using the resources provided by Richard Feldman’s recent discussion of how to respect one’s evidence, I argue that if one has a higher-order doubt with regards to P, (...)
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  2. Maria Alvarez (2010). Kinds of Reasons: An Essay in the Philosophy of Action. OUP Oxford.
    Understanding human beings and their distinctive rational and volitional capacities is one of the central tasks of philosophy. The task requires a clear account of such things as reasons, desires, emotions and motives, and of how they combine to produce and explain human behaviour. In Kinds of Reasons, Maria Alvarez offers a fresh and incisive treatment of these issues, focusing in particular on reasons as they feature in contexts of agency. Her account builds on some important recent work in the (...)
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  3. M. Cristina Amoretti & Nicla Vassallo (eds.) (2012). Reason and Rationality. Ontos Verlag.
    Reason and rationality represent crucial elements of the self-image of human beings and have unquestionably been among the most debated issues in Western philosophy, dating from ancient Greece, through the Middle Ages, and to the present day. Many words and thoughts have already been spent trying to define the nature and standards of reason and rationality, what they could or ought to be, and under what conditions something can be said to be rational. This volume focuses instead on the relationships (...)
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  4. Steven Arkonovich (2011). Advisors and Deliberation. Journal of Ethics 15 (4):405-424.
    The paper has two goals. First, it defends one type of subjectivist account of reasons for actions—deliberative accounts—against the criticism that they commit the conditional fallacy. Second, it attempts to show that another type of subjectivist account of practical reasons that has been gaining popularity—ideal advisor accounts—are liable to commit a closely related error. Further, I argue that ideal advisor accounts can avoid the error only by accepting the fundamental theoretical motivation behind deliberative accounts. I conclude that ideal advisor accounts (...)
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  5. N. Arpaly & T. Schroeder (2012). Deliberation and Acting for Reasons. Philosophical Review 121 (2):209-239.
    Theoretical and practical deliberation are voluntary activities, and like all voluntary activities, they are performed for reasons. To hold that all voluntary activities are performed for reasons in virtue of their relations to past, present, or even merely possible acts of deliberation thus leads to infinite regresses and related problems. As a consequence, there must be processes that are nondeliberative and nonvoluntary but that nonetheless allow us to think and act for reasons, and these processes must be the ones that (...)
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  6. Robert Audi (2001). The Architecture of Reason: The Structure and Substance of Rationality. Oxford University Press.
    The literature on theoretical reason has been dominated by epistemological concerns, treatments of practical reason by ethical concerns. This book overcomes the limitations of dealing with each separately. It sets out a comprehensive theory of rationality applicable to both practical and theoretical reason. In both domains, Audi explains how experience grounds rationality, delineates the structure of central elements, and attacks the egocentric conception of rationality. He establishes the rationality of altruism and thereby supports major moral principles. The concluding part describes (...)
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  7. Nathan Ballantyne (2013). Knockdown Arguments. Erkenntnis:1-19.
    David Lewis and Peter van Inwagen have claimed that there are no “knockdown” arguments in philosophy. Their claim appears to be at odds with common philosophical practice: philosophers often write as though their conclusions are established or proven and that the considerations offered for these conclusions are decisive. In this paper, I examine some questions raised by Lewis’s and van Inwagen’s contention. What are knockdown arguments? Are there any in philosophy? If not, why not? These questions concern the nature of (...)
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  8. Stephanie Beardman (2007). The Special Status of Instrumental Reasons. Philosophical Studies 134 (2):255 - 287.
    The rationality of means-end reasoning is the bedrock of the Humean account of practical reasons. But the normativity of such reasoning can not be taken for granted. I consider and reject the idea that the normativity of instrumental reasoning can be explained – either in terms of its being constitutive of the very notion of having an end, or solely in terms of instrumental considerations. I argue that the instrumental principle is itself a brute norm, and that this is consistent (...)
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  9. Matthew S. Bedke (2010). Rationalist Restrictions and External Reasons. Philosophical Studies 151 (1):39 - 57.
    Historically, the most persuasive argument against external reasons proceeds through a rationalist restriction: For all agents A, and all actions Φ, there is a reason for A to Φ only if Φing is rationally accessible from A's actual motivational states. Here I distinguish conceptions of rationality, show which one the internalist must rely on to argue against external reasons, and argue that a rationalist restriction that features that conception of rationality is extremely implausible. Other conceptions of rationality can render the (...)
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  10. Matthew S. Bedke (2009). The Iffiest Oughts: A Guise of Reasons Account of End‐Given Conditionals. Ethics 119 (4):672-698.
    It often seems that what one ought to do depends on what contingent ends one has adopted and the means to pursuing them. Imagine, for example, that you are applying for jobs, and a particularly attractive one comes your way. It offers excellent colleagues in a desirable location, the pay is good, and acquiring a job like this is one of your ends. If practicing your job talk is a means to getting the job, the following seems true: (1) If (...)
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  11. Matthew S. Bedke (2008). Practical Reasons, Practical Rationality, Practical Wisdom. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (1):85 - 111.
    There are a number of proposals as to exactly how reasons, ends and rationality are related. It is often thought that practical reasons can be analyzed in terms of practical rationality, which, in turn, has something to do with the pursuit of ends. I want to argue against the conceptual priority of rationality and the pursuit of ends, and in favor of the conceptual priority of reasons. This case comes in two parts. I first argue for a new conception of (...)
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  12. Matteo Bianchin (2012). Bildung, Meaning, and Reasons. Verifiche: Rivista Trimestrale di Scienze Umane 41 (1-3):73-102.
    By endorsing that Bildung is a condition for thought, McDowell explicitly sets out to revive a theme in classical german philosophy. As long as the concept of Bildung is intended to play a role in McDowell’s theory of meaning and reasons, however, it is best understood in the light of its distinctive combination of neo-Fregeanism about content and Wittgensteinianism about rule-following. The Fregean part is there to warrant that reasons are objective, the Wittgensteinian move is to account for our grasping (...)
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  13. Simon Blackburn, Human Reasons.
    In this paper I contemplate two phenomena that have impressed theorists concerned with the domain of reasons and of normativity. One is the much-discussed ‘externality’ of reasons. Reasons are just there, anyway. They exist whether or not agents take any notice of them. They do not only exist in the light of contingent desires or mere inclinations. They are ‘external’ not ‘internal’. They bear on us, even when through ignorance or wickedness we take no notice of them. They thus very (...)
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  14. Michael E. Bratman (2009). Intention, Practical Rationality, and Self‐Governance. Ethics 119 (3):411-443.
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  15. Michael E. Bratman (2009). Setiya on Intention, Rationality and Reasons. Analysis 69 (3):510-521.
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  16. Jason Bridges, Kolodny on the Normativity of Rationality.
    Although in everyday life and thought we take for granted that there are norms of rationality, their existence presents severe philosophical problems. Kolodny (2005) is thus moved to deny that rationality is normative. But this denial is not itself unproblematic, and I argue that Kolodny’s defense of it—especially his Transparency Account, which aims to explain why rationality appears to be normative even though it isn’t—is unsuccessful. I close with a sketch of an alternative proposal, one that provides for a genuine (...)
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  17. Jason Bridges (2011). Dispositions and Rational Explanation. In Jason Bridges Niko Kolodny & Wai-Hung Wong (eds.), The Possibility of Philosophical Understanding: Reflections on the Thought of Barry Stroud. Oxford University Press.
    Some philosophers hold that rational explanations­—explanations of people’s attitudes and actions that cite their reasons for forming these attitudes or performing these actions—are dispositional. The hold that rational explanations do their explanatory work by representing these attitudes and actions as the product of dispositions on the part of the subject. I challenge arguments to this effect by Barry Stroud and Michael Smith. And I argue that human beings do not possess, and could not possess, the dispositions required for the dispositionalist (...)
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  18. Jason Bridges (2009). Rationality, Normativity, and Transparency. Mind 118 (470):353-367.
    Although in everyday life and thought we take for granted that there are norms of rationality, their existence presents severe philosophical problems. Kolodny (2005) is thus moved to deny that rationality is normative. But this denial is not itself unproblematic, and I argue that Kolodny's defence of it—particularly his Transparency Account, which aims to explain why rationality appears to be normative even though it is not—is unsuccessful.
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  19. John Broome (2008). Reply to Southwood, Kearns and Star, and Cullity. Ethics 119 (1):96-108.
  20. John Broome (2007). Wide or Narrow Scope? Mind 116 (462):359-370.
    This paper is a response to ‘Why Be Rational?’ by Niko Kolodny. Kolodny argues that we have no reason to satisfy the requirements of rationality. His argument assumes that these requirements have a logically narrow scope. To see what the question of scope turns on, this comment provides a semantics for ‘requirement’. It shows that requirements of rationality have a wide scope, at least under one sense of ‘requirement’. Consequently Kolodny's conclusion cannot be derived.
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  21. John Broome (2007). Does Rationality Consist in Responding Correctly to Reasons? Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (3):349-374.
    Some philosophers think that rationality consists in responding correctly to reasons, or alternatively in responding correctly to beliefs about reasons. This paper considers various possible interpretations of ‘responding correctly to reasons’ and of ‘responding correctly to beliefs about reasons’, and concludes that rationality consists in neither, under any interpretation. It recognizes that, under some interpretations, rationality does entail responding correctly to beliefs about reasons. That is: necessarily, if you are rational you respond correctly to your beliefs about reasons.
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  22. John Broome (2005). Does Rationality Give Us Reasons? Philosophical Issues 15 (1):321–337.
  23. John Broome (1999). Normative Requirements. Ratio 12 (4):398–419.
    Normative requirements are often overlooked, but they are central features of the normative world. Rationality is often thought to consist in acting for reasons, but following normative requirements is also a major part of rationality. In particular, correct reasoning – both theoretical and practical – is governed by normative requirements rather than by reasons. This article explains the nature of normative requirements, and gives examples of their importance. It also describes mistakes that philosophers have made as a result of confusing (...)
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  24. John Broome (1997). Reasons and Motivation: John Broome. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 71 (1):131–146.
    Derek Parfit takes an externalist and cognitivist view about normative reasons. I shall explore this view and add some arguments that support it. But I shall also raise a doubt about it at the end.
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  25. John Brunero (2010). The Scope of Rational Requirements. Philosophical Quarterly 60 (238):28-49.
    Niko Kolodny has argued that some (local) rational requirements are narrow-scope requirements. Against this, I argue here that all (local) rational requirements are wide-scope requirements. I present a new objection to the narrow-scope interpretations of the four specific rational requirements which Kolodny considers. His argument for the narrow-scope interpretations of these four requirements rests on a false assumption, that an attitude which puts in place a narrow-scope rational requirement somewhere thereby puts in place a narrow-scope rational requirement everywhere. My argument (...)
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  26. John Brunero (2007). Are Intentions Reasons? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (4):424–444.
    This paper presents an objection to the view that intentions provide reasons and shows how this objection is also inherited by the more commonly accepted Tie-Breaker view, according to which intentions provide reasons only in tie-break situations. The paper also considers and rejects T. M. Scanlon's argument for the Tie-Breaker view and argues that philosophers might be drawn to accept the problematic Tie-Breaker view by confusing it with a very similar, unproblematic view about the relation between intentions and reasons in (...)
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  27. Ruth Chang (2009). Voluntarist Reasons and the Sources of Normativity. In David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.), Reasons for Action. Cambridge University Press.
    In virtue of what does a consideration provide a practical reason? Suppose the fact that an experience is painful provides you with a reason to avoid it. In virtue of what does the fact that it’s painful have the normativity of a reason – where, in other words, does its normativity come from? As some philosophers put the question, what is the source of a reason’s normativity?
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  28. 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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  29. Randolph Clarke (2008). Autonomous Reasons for Intending. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (2):191 – 212.
    An autonomous reason for intending to A would be a reason for so intending that is not, and will not be, a reason for A-ing. Some puzzle cases, such as the one that figures in the toxin puzzle, suggest that there can be such reasons for intending, but these cases have special features that cloud the issue. This paper describes cases that more clearly favour the view that we can have practical reasons of this sort. Several objections to this view (...)
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  30. Randolph Clarke (2007). Commanding Intentions and Prize-Winning Decisions. Philosophical Studies 133 (3):391 - 409.
    It is widely held that any justifying reason for making a decision must also be a justifying reason for doing what one thereby decides to do. Desires to win decision prizes, such as the one that figures in Kavka’s toxin puzzle, might be thought to be exceptions to this principle, but the principle has been defended in the face of such examples. Similarly, it has been argued that a command to intend cannot give one a justifying reason to intend as (...)
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  31. Garrett Cullity (2008). Decisions, Reasons, and Rationality. Ethics 119 (1):57-95.
  32. Donald Davidson (2001). Essays on Actions and Events: Philosophical Essays Volume 1. Clarendon Press.
    Donald Davidson has prepared a new edition of his classic 1980 collection of Essays on Actions and Events, including two additional essays. In this seminal investigation of the nature of human action, Davidson argues for an ontology which includes events along with persons and other objects. Certain events are identified and explained as actions when they are viewed as caused and rationalized by reasons; these same events, when described in physical, biological, or physiological terms, may be explained by appeal to (...)
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  33. Boudewijn de Bruin (2006). Popper's Conception of the Rationality Principle in the Social Sciences. In Ian Jarvie, David Miller & Karl Milford (eds.), Karl Popper: A Centenary Assessment: Selected Papers from Karl Popper 2002: Volume III: Science. Ashgate.
    In this paper I criticize Popper's conception of the rationality principle in the social sciences. First, I survey Popper's outlook on the role of a principle of rationality in theorizing in the social sciences. Then, I critically examine his view on the status of the principle of rationality concluding that the arguments supporting it are quite weak. Finally, I contrast his standpoint with an alternative conception. This, I show, helps us understand better Popper's reasons for adopting his perspective on rationality.
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  34. Franz Dietrich & Christian List, Reason-Based Rationalization.
    We introduce a “reason-based” way of rationalizing an agent’s choice behaviour, which explains choices by specifying which properties of the options or choice context the agent cares about (the “motivationally salient properties”) and how he or she cares about these properties (the “fundamental preference relation”). Reason-based rationalizations can explain non-classical choice behaviour, including boundedly rational and sophisticated rational behaviour, and predict choices in unobserved contexts, an issue neglected in standard choice theory. We characterize the behavioural implications of different reason-based models (...)
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  35. Franz Dietrich & Christian List (2013). A Reason-Based Theory of Rational Choice. Noûs 47 (1):104-134.
    There is a surprising disconnect between formal rational choice theory and philosophical work on reasons. The one is silent on the role of reasons in rational choices, the other rarely engages with the formal models of decision problems used by social scientists. To bridge this gap, we propose a new, reason-based theory of rational choice. At its core is an account of preference formation, according to which an agent’s preferences are determined by his or her motivating reasons, together with a (...)
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  36. Franz Dietrich & Christian List (2013). Where Do Preferences Come From? International Journal of Game Theory 42 (3):613-637.
    Rational choice theory analyzes how an agent can rationally act, given his or her preferences, but says little about where those preferences come from. Preferences are usually assumed to be fixed and exogenously given. Building on related work on reasons and rational choice, we describe a framework for conceptualizing preference formation and preference change. In our model, an agent's preferences are based on certain "motivationally salient" properties of the alternatives over which the preferences are held. Preferences may change as new (...)
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  37. Tom Dougherty (2011). On Whether To Prefer Pain to Pass. Ethics 121 (3):521-537.
    Most of us are “time-biased” in preferring pains to be past rather than future and pleasures to be future rather than past. However, it turns out that if you are risk averse and time-biased, then you can be turned into a “pain pump”—in order to insure yourself against misfortune, you will take a series of pills which leaves you with more pain and better off in no respect. Since this vulnerability seems rationally impermissible, while time-bias and risk aversion seem rationally (...)
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  38. Fred Dretske (1971). Conclusive Reasons. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 49 (1):1 – 22.
  39. Julian Fink (2014). A Constitutive Account of 'Rationality Requires'. Erkenntnis:1-33.
    The requirements of rationality are fundamental in practical and theoretical philosophy. Nonetheless, there exists no correct account of what constitutes rational requirements. This paper attempts to provide a correct constitutive account of ‘rationality requires’. I argue that rational requirements are grounded in ‘necessary explanations of subjective incoherence’, as I shall put it. Rationality requires of you to X if and only if your rational capacities, in conjunction with the fact that you not-X, explain necessarily why you have a non-maximal degree (...)
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  40. Stephen Finlay (2009). Against All Reason? Skepticism About the Instrumental Norm. In Charles Pigden (ed.), Hume on Motivation and Virtue. Palgrave MacMillan.
    A naturalistic project descended from Hume seeks to explain „ought‟ and normativity as a product of motivational states such as desires and aversions.2 Following Kant, rationalists reject this thesis, holding that „ought‟ rather expresses a command of reason or intellect independent of desires. On Hume‟s view the only genuine form of practical reason is theoretical reason operating in the service of desire, as in calculation of means to ends. Reason at most discovers normative requirements, which exist through the interrelation of (...)
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  41. Owen Flanagan & Stephen Martin (2012). Science and the Modest Image of Epistemology. Human.Mente - Journal of Philosophical Studies 21.
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  42. 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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  43. K. W. M. Fulford & Lubomira Radoilska (2012). Three Challenges From Delusion for Theories of Autonomy. In Lubomira Radoilska (ed.), Autonomy and Mental Disorder. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter identifies and explores a series of challenges raised by the clinical concept of delusion for theories which conceive autonomy as an agency rather than a status concept. The first challenge is to address the autonomy-impairing nature of delusions consistently with their role as grounds for full legal and ethical excuse, on the one hand, and psychopathological significance as key symptoms of psychoses, on the other. The second challenge is to take into account the full logical range of delusions, (...)
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  44. Alexander George (2012). Opening the Door to Cloud-Cuckoo-Land: Hempel and Kuhn on Rationality. Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (4).
    A reading is offered of Carl Hempel’s and Thomas Kuhn’s positions on, and disagreements about, rationality in science that relates these issues to the debate between W.V. Quine and Rudolf Carnap on the analytic/synthetic distinction.
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  45. Mikkel Gerken (2011). Warrant and Action. Synthese 178 (3):529-547.
    I develop an approach to action and practical deliberation according to which the degree of epistemic warrant required for practical rationality varies with practical context. In some contexts of practical deliberation, very strong warrant is called for. In others, less will do. I set forth a warrant account, (WA), that captures this idea. I develop and defend (WA) by arguing that it is more promising than a competing knowledge account of action due to John Hawthorne and Jason Stanley. I argue (...)
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  46. Joshua Gert (2008). Putting Particularism in its Place. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (3):312-324.
    Abstract: The point of this paper is to undermine the support that particularism in the domain of epistemic reasons might seem to give to particularism in the domain of practical reasons. In the epistemic domain, there are two related notions: truth and the rationality of belief. Epistemic reasons are related to the rationality of belief, and not directly to truth. In the domain of practical reasons, however, the role of truth is taken by the notion of objective rationality. Practical reasons (...)
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  47. Joshua Gert (2008). Williams on Reasons and Rationality. In Daniel Callcut (ed.), Reading Bernard Williams. Routledge.
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  48. Joshua Gert (2005). A Functional Role Analysis of Reasons. Philosophical Studies 124 (3):353 - 378.
    One strategy for providing an analysis of practical rationality is to start with the notion of a practical reason as primitive. Then it will be quite tempting to think that the rationality of an action can be defined rather simply in terms of ‘the balance of reasons’. But just as, for many philosophical purposes, it is extremely useful to identify the meaning of a word in terms of the systematic contribution the word makes to the meanings of whole sentences, this (...)
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  49. John Gibbons (2010). Things That Make Things Reasonable. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):335-361.
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  50. John Gibbons (2009). You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do. Noûs 43 (1):157-177.
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