David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethics 109 (1):67-93 (1998)
It is common, though perhaps not correct, to think that practical rationality is strictly instrumental.1 The functions of instrumental reason include finding suitable means to our determinate ends, helping to determine our indeterminate ends, and implementing our principles in appropriate actions. One reason that might be given for adopting instrumentalism with respect to rationality might be that our best scientific evidence offers little support for the idea that our brains have powers to detect good and bad as such in persons, actions, or lives. But whatever one’s reasons for taking up instrumentalism, it remains to specify the relationship means are to have with ends. A natural demand is that instrumentally rational actions implement the best means to one’s given ends. Optimizing conceptions of rationality endorse this demand. A competing conception of rationality—the satisficing conception—weakens this requirement and permits some rational actions to implement (merely) satisfactory means to the agent’s given ends. The present article argues that instrumentalist theories of rationality as commonly understood cannot consistently accommodate this satisficing conception of rationality.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Klaas J. Kraay (2013). Peter van Inwagen on Gratuitous Evil. Religious Studies:1-18.
John R. Welch (2013). New Tools for Theory Choice and Theory Diagosis. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 44 (3):318-329.
Michael Byron (2005). Simon 's Revenge: Or, Incommensurability and Satisficing. Analysis 65 (288):311–315.
By Roy Sorensen (2006). Originless Sin: Rational Dilemmas for Satisficers. Philosophical Quarterly 56 (223):213–223.
Roy Sorenson (2006). Originless Sin: Rational Dilemmas for Satisficers. Philosophical Quarterly 56 (223):213 - 223.
Similar books and articles
Michael Smith (2004). Instrumental Desires, Instrumental Rationality. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):93–109.
Tim Mulgan (2006). SLOTE'S SATISFICING CONSEQUENTIALISM. Ratio 6 (2):121 - 134.
Stephen Ellis (2008). The Varieties of Instrumental Rationality. Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):199-220.
Sigrún Svavarsdóttir (2008). The Virtue of Practical Rationality. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (1):1-33.
Edmund Henden (2007). Is Genuine Satisficing Rational? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (4):339 - 352.
Matthew S. Bedke (2008). Practical Reasons, Practical Rationality, Practical Wisdom. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (1):85 - 111.
Ricardo F. Crespo (2007). 'Practical Comparability' and Ends in Economics. Journal of Economic Methodology 14 (3):371-393.
Thomas Kelly (2007). Evidence and Normativity: Reply to Leite. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):465–474.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads22 ( #76,965 of 1,099,049 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #27,252 of 1,099,049 )
How can I increase my downloads?