Handout #5: Anti-rationalism and internalism about practical reason
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
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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 should reject the rationalist element in the problematic about the authority of morality. On this view, the authority, but not the scope or content, of morality depends on the aims or interests of agents.
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