David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Fabienne Peter & Hans Bernhard Schmidt (eds.), rationality and commitment. OUP Oxford (2007)
Abstract: The standard picture of rationality requires that the agent acts so as to realize her most preferred alternative in the light of her own desires and beliefs. However, there are circumstances where such an agent can predict that she will act against her preferences. The story of Ulysses and the Sirens is the paradigmatic example of such cases. In those circumstances the orthodoxy requires the agent to be ‘sophisticated’. That is to say, she should take into account her expected future choices and prevent her future self to act in certain ways. She should ‘bind’ herself to a certain course of action. This is a form of causal commitment. It is generally recognized that this form of self-commitment is the only one that is available to a rational agent. Rational commitment, where the agent gives herself a reason to act in a certain way rather than making herself act in that way, is considered not feasible. In this paper, I question this verdict. I sketch the broad outlines of a model of rational commitment, which takes as its starting point Michael Bratman’s ‘planning theory’ of intention. There are two important objections against this theory (one by John Broome and one by the Dutch philosopher Govert den Hartogh.) Both criticisms claim that such a theory is a form of ‘bootstrapping’ reasons for action into existence. In the remainder of the paper, I will defend the theory against these objections. This way, I hope to establish that defending the feasibility of rational commitment is not an obvious mistake.
|Keywords||Commitment Rationality Michael Bratman|
|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
Margaret Gilbert (2009). Shared Intention and Personal Intentions. Philosophical Studies 144 (1):167 - 187.
Similar books and articles
S. E. N. Amartya (2005). Why Exactly is Commitment Important for Rationality? Economics and Philosophy 21 (1):5-14.
Steven Levine (2015). Norms and Habits: Brandom on the Sociality of Action. European Journal of Philosophy 23 (2):248-272.
Joe Mintoff (1996). On a Problem for Contractarianism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (1):98 – 116.
Carolyn Mason (2006). Internal Reasons and Practical Limits on Rational Deliberation. Philosophical Explorations 9 (2):163 – 177.
Sarah Stroud (2001). Moral Commitment and Moral Theory. Journal of Philosophical Research 26:381-398.
Sam Shpall (2013). Wide and Narrow Scope. Philosophical Studies 163 (3):717-736.
Sam Shpall (2014). Moral and Rational Commitment. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):146-172.
Ward E. Jones (2003). Is Scientific Theory-Commitment Doxastic or Practical? Synthese 137 (3):325 - 344.
Patrick Yarnell (2002). Humean Instrumentalism and the Motivational Capacity of Reason. Journal of Philosophical Research 27:499-509.
Reed Richter (1990). Ideal Rationality and Hand Waving. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 68 (2):147 – 156.
Howard Peacock (2011). Two Kinds of Ontological Commitment. Philosophical Quarterly 61 (242):79-104.
Tomás F. González & Manuel Guillén (2008). Organizational Commitment: A Proposal for a Wider Ethical Conceptualization of 'Normative Commitment'. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 78 (3):401 - 414.
Colin Jerolmack & Douglas Porpora (2004). Religion, Rationality, and Experience: A Response to the New Rational Choice Theory of Religion. Sociological Theory 22 (1):140-160.
Judith Baker (2008). Rationality Without Reasons. Mind 117 (468):763-782.
Added to index2011-08-10
Total downloads122 ( #13,092 of 1,699,564 )
Recent downloads (6 months)30 ( #20,497 of 1,699,564 )
How can I increase my downloads?