Instrumental Rationality

European Journal of Philosophy 20 (4):443-462 (2012)
Abstract
Does rationality require us to take the means to our ends? Intuitively, it seems clear that it does. And yet it has proven difficult to explain why this should be so: after all, if one is pursuing an end that one has decisive reason not to pursue, the balance of reasons will presumably speak against one's taking the means necessary to bring that end about. In this paper I propose a novel account of the instrumental requirement which addresses this problem. On the view I develop, the instrumental requirement is normative not because agents have reasons to comply with it, but because it is a normative standard intrinsic to intentional action—i.e., it is a standard that partly spells out what it is to exercise one's agency well
Keywords rationality  wide scope  narrow scope  reasons
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References found in this work BETA
Michael Bratman (1987/1999). Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason. Center for the Study of Language and Information.
John Broome (2005). Does Rationality Give Us Reasons? Philosophical Issues 15 (1):321–337.

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