David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Oxford Studies in Metaethics 6:280-309 (2011)
Is there any distinctive aspect of rationality that deserves the label of “instrumental rationality”? Recently, Joseph Raz (2005) has argued that instrumental rationality is a “myth”. In this essay, I shall give some qualified support to Raz’s position: as I shall argue, many philosophers have indeed been seduced by certain myths about instrumental rationality. Nonetheless, Raz’s conclusion is too strong. Instrumental rationality is not itself a myth: there really is a distinctive aspect of rationality that deserves the label of “instrumental rationality”. In the first two sections of this essay, I shall start by giving a rough intuitive description of the phenomenon that seems to me the best candidate for the label “instrumental rationality”. As we shall see, this rough description gives us reason to reject some of the myths that surround instrumental rationality. Then in the rest of this essay, I shall try to give a more precise general specification of this phenomenon. In Sections 3 and 4, I shall consider what has been said about instrumental rationality by several other philosophers. Identifying what is missing in these other philosophers’ accounts will help me to develop my own positive specification, which I shall present in Sections 5 and 6.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Danny Frederick (2013). Popper, Rationality and the Possibility of Social Science. Theoria 28 (1):61-75.
John Brunero (2012). Instrumental Rationality, Symmetry and Scope. Philosophical Studies 157 (1):125-140.
Michael Smith (2004). Instrumental Desires, Instrumental Rationality. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):93–109.
John Brunero (2005). Instrumental Rationality and Carroll's Tortoise. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (5):557 - 569.
Thomas Kelly (2007). Evidence and Normativity: Reply to Leite. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):465–474.
Stephen Ellis (2008). The Varieties of Instrumental Rationality. Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):199-220.
Michael Bratman (2009). Intention, Belief, and Instrumental Rationality. In David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.), Reasons for Action. Cambridge University Press 13--36.
Thomas Kelly (2003). Epistemic Rationality as Instrumental Rationality: A Critique. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):612–640.
Bruno Verbeek (2001). Consequentialism, Rationality and the Relevant Description of Outcomes. Economics and Philosophy 17 (2):181-205.
Added to index2009-08-29
Total downloads137 ( #11,899 of 1,707,715 )
Recent downloads (6 months)14 ( #49,643 of 1,707,715 )
How can I increase my downloads?