David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (5):557 - 569 (2005)
Some philosophers have tried to establish a connection between the normativity of instrumental rationality and the paradox presented by Lewis Carroll in his 1895 paper “What the Tortoise Said to Achilles.” I here examine and argue against accounts of this connection presented by Peter Railton and James Dreier before presenting my own account and discussing its implications for instrumentalism (the view that all there is to practical rationality is instrumental rationality). In my view, the potential for a Carroll-style regress just shows us that since instrumental rationality involves a higher-order commitment to combine our willing an end with our taking the necessary means, it therefore cannot, on pain of regress, itself be added as a conjunct to one of the elements to be combined. This view does not support instrumentalism.
|Keywords||Lewis Carroll James Dreier infinite regress instrumental rationality instrumentalism practical rationality Peter Railton|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Jan Willem Wieland (2013). What Carroll's Tortoise Actually Proves. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):983-997.
Similar books and articles
John Brunero (2012). Instrumental Rationality, Symmetry and Scope. Philosophical Studies 157 (1):125-140.
Bruno Verbeek (2001). Consequentialism, Rationality and the Relevant Description of Outcomes. Economics and Philosophy 17 (2):181-205.
Stephen Ellis (2008). The Varieties of Instrumental Rationality. Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):199-220.
Michael Bratman (2009). Intention, Belief, and Instrumental Rationality. In David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.), Reasons for Action. Cambridge University Press. 13--36.
Thomas Kelly (2003). Epistemic Rationality as Instrumental Rationality: A Critique. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):612–640.
Michael Smith (2004). Instrumental Desires, Instrumental Rationality. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):93–109.
Ralph Wedgwood (2011). Instrumental Rationality. Oxford Studies in Metaethics 6:280-309.
Thomas Kelly (2007). Evidence and Normativity: Reply to Leite. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):465–474.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads75 ( #18,311 of 1,101,701 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #178,427 of 1,101,701 )
How can I increase my downloads?