Moral Rationalism and the Normative Status of Desiderative Coherence

Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (2):227-252 (2010)
Abstract
This paper concerns the normative status of coherence of desires, in the context of moral rationalism. I argue that 'desiderative coherence' is not tied to rationality, but is rather of pragmatic, instrumental, and sometimes moral value. This means that desire-based views cannot rely on coherence to support non-agent-relative accounts of moral reasons. For example, on Michael Smith's neo-rationalist view, you have 'normative reason' to do whatever your maximally coherent and fully informed self would want you to do, whether you want to do it or not. For these reasons to be non-agent-relative, coherence would have to be grounded in rationality, but I argue that it is not. I analyze, and reject, various strategies for establishing a coherence-rationality connection, considering in detail a purported analogy between desires and a priori beliefs, with particular attention to the case of mathematics
Keywords COHERENCE   DESIRE   MICHAEL SMITH   MORAL RATIONALISM   RATIONALITY
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,351
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  •   Try with proxy.
  •   Try with proxy.
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles
    Edward Harcourt (2004). Instrumental Desires, Instrumental Rationality. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):111–129.
    Dale Dorsey (2006). A Coherence Theory of Truth in Ethics. Philosophical Studies 127 (3):493 - 523.
    Stephen Darwall (2003). Desires, Reasons, and Causes. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2):436–443.
    Alan H. Goldman (2005). Reason Internalism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (3):505 - 533.
    Michael Smith (2004). Instrumental Desires, Instrumental Rationality. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):93–109.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2010-08-16

    Total downloads

    42 ( #33,842 of 1,088,372 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    4 ( #24,149 of 1,088,372 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.