Rationality in action: A symposium

Philosophical Explorations 4 (2):66 – 94 (2001)
Abstract
John Searle's forthcoming book 'Rationality in Action' presents a sophisticated and innovative account of the rationality of action. In the book Searle argues against what he calls the classical model of rationality. In the debate that follows Barry Smith challenges some implications of Searle's account. In particular, Smith suggests that Searle's distinction between observer-relative and observer-independent facts of the world is ill suited to accommodate moral concepts. Leo Zaibert takes on Searle's notion of the gap. The gap exists between the reasons that we have for acting and our actions. According to Searle, whenever there is no gap, our actions exhibit irrationality. Zaibert points out a certain obscurity in Searle's treatment of the gap, particularly in connection with Searle's notion of 'recognitional rationality'. Finally, Josef Moural examines the interactions between Searle's theory of institutions and his theory of rationality, with emphasis on the connections between intentionality and Searle's notion of the 'background'.
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