David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Inquiry 35 (2):199 – 217 (1992)
The aim of this paper is to identify and partially defend a form of practical reason involved in a number of central cases of human action. Against the claims of rational choice theory that reasoning about action is primarily instrumental, it argues for a form of practical reason which allows for the indeterminate, open?ended and creative nature of the most important examples of human action. Rational choice theory not only gives a distorted account of the reasoning involved in these cases; it also ? and more fundamentally ? misconceives the nature of human agency. What moves us to act are characteristically not our ?preferences?, but our ?desires?, and the logic of desire is not that of means to end, but of narrative coherence. The paper also argues that rational choice theory fails to recognize the essentially social nature of rationality, and in its ambition to construct social theory on the basis of rational choice it fails to recognize the fundamental role of trust in social relationships
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References found in this work BETA
Jon Elster (2012). Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences. Cambridge University Press.
Harry G. Frankfurt (1971). Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person. Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Alasdair MacIntyre (1988). Whose Justice? Which Rationality? University of Notre Dame Press.
John Jamieson Carswell Smart & Bernard Williams (1973). Utilitarianism: For and Against. Cambridge University Press.
Richard Rorty (1982). Consequences of Pragmatism. University of Minnesota Press.
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