Against cognitivism about practical rationality

Philosophical Studies 146 (3):311 - 325 (2009)
Cognitivists about Practical Rationality argue that we can explain some of the (apparent) requirements of practical rationality by appealing to the requirements of theoretical rationality. First, they argue that intentions involve beliefs, and, second, they show how the theoretical requirements governing those involved beliefs can explain some of the practical requirements governing those intentions (or they show how these apparently practical requirements are actually theoretical requirements). This paper avoids the ongoing controversy about whether and how intentions involve beliefs and focuses instead on this second part of the Cognitivist approach, where I think Cognitivism faces significant difficulties. I proceed by considering two attempts by Cognitivists to explain (apparent) requirements of practical rationality and I argue that neither of them succeed.
Keywords Practical rationality  Theoretical rationality  Cognitivism  Intention  Belief  Instrumental rationality  Consistency  Setiya
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DOI 10.2307/40542373
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Michael Bratman (1987/1999). Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason. Center for the Study of Language and Information.

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