About this topic
Summary

To be instrumentally rational is, roughly, to take necessary and effective means to one’s end. For instance, if you decide to give up smoking, it would be instrumentally rational to stop buying cigarettes, and to limit the time you spend around other smokers. It would be irrational not to take any means to this end. Instrumental rationality raises several sets of questions, including: (i) what are the principles of instrumental rationality? (ii) what is the normative status of the principles of instrumental rationality? (iii) might instrumental rationality be all of practical rationality?

Key works

Much recent discussion of this topic takes off from Bratman 1987, Broome 1999, and Korsgaard 1997. Kolodny 2005, Raz 2005, and Schroeder 2009 are central contributions to the subsequent debate. A different stream in the literature focuses on decision theory as a theory of instrumental rationality.Gauthier 1986 includes a classic and fairly accessible statement of this idea.

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262 found
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  1. What ought probably means, and why you can’t detach it.Stephen Finlay - 2009 - Synthese 177 (1):67 - 89.
    Some intuitive normative principles raise vexing 'detaching problems' by their failure to license modus ponens. I examine three such principles (a self-reliance principle and two different instrumental principles) and recent stategies employed to resolve their detaching problems. I show that solving these problems necessitates postulating an indefinitely large number of senses for 'ought'. The semantics for 'ought' that is standard in linguistics offers a unifying strategy for solving these problems, but I argue that an alternative approach combining an end-relational theory (...)
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  2. Sunk Costs.Robert Bass - manuscript
    Decision theorists generally object to “honoring sunk costs” – that is, treating the fact that some cost has been incurred in the past as a reason for action, apart from the consideration of expected consequences. This paper critiques the doctrine that sunk costs should never be honored on three levels. As background, the rationale for the doctrine is explained. Then it is shown that if it is always irrational to honor sunk costs, then other common and uncontroversial practices are also (...)
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  3. Maximizing, Satisficing and the Normative Distinction Between Means and Ends.Robert Bass - manuscript
    Decision theory, understood as providing a normative account of rationality in action, is often thought to be an adequate formalization of instrumental reasoning. As a model, there is much to be said for it. However, if decision theory is to adequately account for correct instrumental reasoning, then the axiomatic conditions by which it links preference to action must be normative for choice. That is, a choice must be rationally defective unless it proceeds from a preference set that satisfies the axiomatic (...)
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  4. Expected comparative utility theory: A new theory of instrumental rationality.David Robert - manuscript
    This paper aims to address the question of how one ought to choose when one is uncertain about what outcomes will result from one’s choices, but when one can nevertheless assign probabilities to the different possible outcomes. These choices are commonly referred to as choices (or decisions) under risk. I assume in this paper that one ought to make instrumentally rational choices—more precisely, one ought to adopt suitable means to one’s morally permissible ends. Expected utility (EU) theory is generally accepted (...)
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  5. The Extended Theory of Instrumental Rationality and Means-Ends Coherence.John Brunero - forthcoming - Philosophical Inquiries.
    In Rational Powers in Action, Sergio Tenenbaum sets out a new theory of instrumental rationality that departs from standard discussions of means-ends coherence in the literature on structural rationality in at least two interesting ways: it takes intentional action (as opposed to intention) to be what puts in place the relevant instrumental requirements, and it applies to both necessary and non-necessary means. I consider these two developments in more detail. On the first, I argue that Tenenbaum’s theory is too narrow (...)
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  6. Ends and Persons: A Transcendental Argument.David DeMatteo - forthcoming - Episteme: An Undergraduate Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper makes a transcendental argument. It assumes the normative validity of the instrumental principle, and then investigates the conditions of its validity. Ultimately, it argues that there are three necessary conditions for its validity. Firstly, agents must be rationally capable of regarding themselves as having a single self that possesses the same reasons, ends, and means. Secondly, agents must be rationally capable of distinguishing themselves from other selves that possess ends. Thirdly, these two conditions must actually obtain, which means (...)
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  7. Review of Fitting Things Together: Coherence and the Demands of Structural Rationality[REVIEW]Benjamin Kiesewetter - forthcoming - Mind.
  8. Suppositional Desires and Rational Choice Under Moral Uncertainty.Nicholas Makins - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper presents a unifying diagnosis of a number of important problems facing existing models of rational choice under moral uncertainty and proposes a remedy. I argue that the problems of (i) severely limited scope, (ii) intertheoretic comparisons, and (iii) 'swamping’ all stem from the way in which values are assigned to options in decision rules such as Maximisation of Expected Choiceworthiness. By assigning values to options under a given moral theory by asking something like ‘how much do I desire (...)
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  9. Instrumentalism, Moral Encroachment, and Epistemic Injustice.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - forthcoming - Philosophical Topics.
    According to the thesis of pragmatic encroachment, practical circumstances can affect whether someone is in a position to know or rationally believe a proposition. For example, whether it is epistemically rational for a person to believe that the bank will be open on Saturdays, can depend not only on the strength of the person’s evidence, but also on how practically important it is for the person not to be wrong about the bank being open on Saturdays. In recent years, philosophers (...)
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  10. Naive Action Theory and Essentially Intentional Actions.Armand Babakhanian - 2024 - Southwest Philosophy Review 40 (1):229-237.
    In their recent paper, “Practical Knowledge without Luminosity,” Bob Beddor and Carlotta Pavese (2022) claim that the doctrine of essentially intentional actions, or “essentialism,” is false. Essentialism states that some actions are essentially intentional, such that, “whenever they are performed, they are performed intentionally” (2022, p. 926). Beddor and Pavese work to reject essentialism, which figures as a key premise in Juan Piñeros Glasscock’s anti-luminosity argument against the knowledge condition for intentional action (Piñeros Glasscock, p. 1240). Historically, essentialism has received (...)
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  11. The very idea of rational irrationality.Spencer Paulson - 2024 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 23 (1):3-21.
    I am interested in the “rational irrationality hypothesis” about voter behavior. According to this hypothesis, voters regularly vote for policies that are contrary to their interests because the act of voting for them isn’t. Gathering political information is time-consuming and inconvenient. Doing so is unlikely to lead to positive results since one's vote is unlikely to be decisive. However, we have preferences over our political beliefs. We like to see ourselves as members of certain groups (e.g. “rugged individualists”) and being (...)
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  12. Structural Rationality and the Property of Coherence.Marc-Kevin Daoust - 2023 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 104 (1):170-194.
    What is structural rationality? Specifically, what is the distinctive feature of structural requirements of rationality? Some philosophers have argued, roughly, that the distinctive feature of structural requirements is coherence. But what does coherence mean, exactly? Or, at least, what do structuralists about rationality have in mind when they claim that structural rationality is coherence? This issue matters for making progress in various active debates concerning rationality. In this paper, I analyze three strategies for figuring out what coherence means in the (...)
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  13. Structural Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter & Alex Worsnip - 2023 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This entry is composed of three sections. In §1, we survey debates about what structural rationality is, including the emergence of the concept in the contemporary literature, its key characteristics, its relationship to substantive rationality, its paradigm instances, and the questions of whether these instances are unified and, if so, how. In §2, we turn to the debate about structural requirements of rationality – including controversies about whether they are “wide-scope” or “narrow-scope”, synchronic or diachronic, and whether they govern processes (...)
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  14. Instrumental Rationality in the Social Sciences.Katharina Nieswandt - 2023 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences (1):46-68.
    This paper draws some bold conclusions from modest premises. My topic is an old one, the Neohumean view of practical rationality. First, I show that this view consists of two independent claims, instrumentalism and subjectivism. Most critics run these together. Instrumentalism is entailed by many theories beyond Neohumeanism, viz. by any theory that says rational actions maximize something. Second, I give a new argument against instrumentalism, using simple counterexamples. This argument systematically undermines consequentialism and rational choice theory, I show, using (...)
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  15. Contrastive Intentions.Andrew Peet - 2023 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 9 (4):24.
    This paper introduces and argues for contrastivism about intentions. According to contrastivism, intention is not a binary relation between an agent and an action. Rather, it is a ternary relation between an agent, an action, and an alternative. Contrastivism is introduced via a discussion of cases of known but (apparently) unintended side effects. Such cases are puzzling. They put pressure on us to reject a number of highly compelling theses about intention, intentional action, and practical reason. And they give rise (...)
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  16. Human-Centered AI: The Aristotelian Approach.Jacob Sparks & Ava Wright - 2023 - Divus Thomas 126 (2):200-218.
    As we build increasingly intelligent machines, we confront difficult questions about how to specify their objectives. One approach, which we call human-centered, tasks the machine with the objective of learning and satisfying human objectives by observing our behavior. This paper considers how human-centered AI should conceive the humans it is trying to help. We argue that an Aristotelian model of human agency has certain advantages over the currently dominant theory drawn from economics.
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  17. Selling Yourself Short? Self-Ownership and Commodification.Robert S. Taylor - 2023 - Public Affairs Quarterly 37 (2):138-152.
    One powerful argument against self-ownership is that it degrades personhood by leading individuals to view themselves and others as mere instrumental goods, alienable commodities to be exchanged in markets like other products and services. In general terms, this line of criticism (called the “commodification argument”) maintains that a direct and causal relationship exists between certain legal institutions (self-ownership) and certain attitudes (instrumentalism) and that the undesirability of the latter justifies restrictions on the former. In this article, I will critically examine (...)
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  18. Precis of Rational Powers in Action.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2023 - Philosophical Inquiries 11 (1):67-85.
    A précis of Sergio Tenenbaum's Rational Powers in Action (Oxford 2021).
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  19. Rational Powers in Interaction: Replies to Paul, Andreou, Brunero, Mayr, and Haase.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2023 - Philosophical Inquiries 11 (1):163-183.
    A response to review essays by Chrisoula Andreou, John Brunero, Matthias Haase, Erasmus Mayr, and Sarah Paul on Sergio Tenenbaum's _Rational Powers in Action_.
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  20. A lineage explanation of human normative guidance: the coadaptive model of instrumental rationality and shared intentionality.Ivan Gonzalez-Cabrera - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-32.
    This paper aims to contribute to the existing literature on normative cognition by providing a lineage explanation of human social norm psychology. This approach builds upon theories of goal-directed behavioral control in the reinforcement learning and control literature, arguing that this form of control defines an important class of intentional normative mental states that are instrumental in nature. I defend the view that great ape capacities for instrumental reasoning and our capacity (or family of capacities) for shared intentionality coadapted to (...)
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  21. Anscombe and The Difference Rationality Makes.Eric Marcus - 2022 - In Adrian Haddock & Rachael Wiseman (eds.), The Anscombean Mind. Routledge.
    Anscombe famously argues that to act intentionally is to act under a description, and that “it is the agent's knowledge of what he is doing that gives the descriptions under which what is going on is the execution of an intention.” Further, she takes ‘knows’ to mean that the agent can give these descriptions herself. It would seem to follow that animals cannot act intentionally. However, she denies this, insisting that although animals cannot express intentions, they can have them. But (...)
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  22. Agency and Practical Reasoning.Jules Salomone-Sehr & Jennifer M. Morton - 2022 - In Luca Ferrero (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Agency. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 412-420.
    Unlike other ways of coming to act, for example as a result of habit or impulse, practical reasoning imprints our actions with the distinctive mark of rational full-blooded agency. This entry enquires into what practical reasoning consists in. First, we lay out four basic criteria—mentality, evaluation, practicality, attributability—that adequate accounts of practical reasoning ought to satisfy in order to capture essential features of the phenomenon. Specifically, practical deliberation is a by and large conscious mental process answerable to a range of (...)
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  23. Do the Standards of Rationality Depend on Resource Context?Eric Sampson - 2022 - Acta Analytica 38 (2):323-333.
    People sometimes knowingly undermine the achievement of their own goals by, e.g., playing the lottery or borrowing from loan sharks. Are these agents acting irrationally? The standard answer is “yes.” But, in a recent award-winning paper, Jennifer Morton argues “no.” On her view, the norms of practical reasoning an agent ought to follow depend on that agent’s resource context (roughly, how rich or poor they are). If Morton is correct, the orthodox view that the same norms of practical rationality apply (...)
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  24. The Practicality of Practical Inference.Will Small - 2022 - In Adrian Haddock & Rachael Wiseman (eds.), The Anscombean Mind. New York, NY, USA: pp. 253–290.
    In Intention, Anscombe says that practical reasoning is practical, not by virtue of its content, but rather by virtue of its form. But in her later essay ‘Practical Inference’, she seems to take this back, claiming instead that (1) the practicality of practical reasoning (or inference) resides in the distinctive use it makes of the premises, and (2) ‘it is a matter of indifference’ whether we say that it exemplifies a distinctive form. I aim to show that Anscombe is right (...)
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  25. The Conclusion of Practical Reasoning.John Brunero - 2021 - The Journal of Ethics 25 (1):13-37.
    According to the Aristotelian Thesis, the conclusion of practical reasoning is an action. Critics argue against it by pointing to cases in which some interference or inability prevents the production of action, yet in which that interference or inability doesn’t impugn the success of an agent’s reasoning. Some of those critics suggest instead that practical reasoning concludes in an intention, while others suggest it concludes in a belief with normative content, such as a belief about what one has conclusive, or (...)
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  26. Ambivalence, Incoherence, and Self-Governance.John Brunero - 2021 - In Berit Brogaard & Dimitria Electra Gatzia (eds.), The Philosophy and Psychology of Ambivalence: Being of Two Minds. New York: Routledge.
    The paper develops two objections to Michael Bratman’s self-governance approach to the normativity of rational requirements. Bratman, drawing upon work by Harry Frankfurt, argues that having a place where one stands is a necessary, constitutive element of self-governance, and that violations of the consistency and coherence requirements on intentions make one lack a place where one stands. This allows for reasons of self-governance to ground reasons to comply with these rational requirements, thereby vindicating the normativity of rationality. The first objection (...)
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  27. Practical cognition as volition.Jeremy David Fix - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (3):1077-1091.
    Practical cognitivism is the view that practical reason is the self-conscious will and that practical cognition is self-conscious volition. This essay addresses two puzzles for practical cognitivism. In akratic action, I act as I understand is illegitimate and not as I understand is legitimate. In permissible action, I act as I understand is legitimate and also do not act as I understand is legitimate. In both types of action, practical cognition seems to come apart from volition. How, then, can practical (...)
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  28. Broome on Enkrasia and Akrasia.Byeong D. Lee - 2021 - Logique Et Analyse 254:175-189.
    John Broome defends what he calls ‘Enkrasia’, which is roughly this: Rationality requires of you that if you believe that you ought to do A, you intend to do A. He provides two arguments for Enkrasia. First, he argues for what he calls ‘enkratic reasoning’: ‘I ought to do A. So I shall do A’. Second, he also provides the following line of argument: Enkrasia is the requirement not to be akratic; akrasia is irrational; so Enkrasia is a rational requirement. (...)
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  29. The Self-Effacing Functionality of Blame.Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1361-1379.
    This paper puts forward an account of blame combining two ideas that are usually set up against each other: that blame performs an important function, and that blame is justified by the moral reasons making people blameworthy rather than by its functionality. The paper argues that blame could not have developed in a purely instrumental form, and that its functionality itself demands that its functionality be effaced in favour of non-instrumental reasons for blame—its functionality is self-effacing. This notion is sharpened (...)
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  30. A restatement of expected comparative utility theory: A new theory of rational choice under risk.David Robert - 2021 - Philosophical Forum 52 (3):221-243.
    In this paper, I argue for a new normative theory of rational choice under risk, namely expected comparative utility (ECU) theory. I first show that for any choice option, a, and for any state of the world, G, the measure of the choiceworthiness of a in G is the comparative utility (CU) of a in G—that is, the difference in utility, in G, between a and whichever alternative to a carries the greatest utility in G. On the basis of this (...)
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  31. How can there be reasoning to action?John Schwenkler - 2021 - Analytic Philosophy 62 (2):184-194.
    In general we think of reasoning as a way of moving from some body of evidence to a belief that is drawn as a conclusion from it. But is it possible for reasoning to conclude in action, i.e., in a person’s intentionally doing one thing or another? In PRACTICAL SHAPE Jonathan Dancy answers 'Yes', on the grounds that "when an agent deliberates well and then acts accordingly, the action done is of the sort most favoured by the considerations rehearsed, taken (...)
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  32. Skill and Sensitivity to Reasons.Joshua Shepherd - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):669-681.
    In this paper I explore the relationship between skill and sensitivity to reasons for action. I want to know to what degree we can explain the fact that the skilled agent is very good at performing a cluster of actions within some domain in terms of the fact that the skilled agent has a refined sensitivity to the reasons for action common to the cluster. The picture is a little bit complex. While skill can be partially explained by sensitivity to (...)
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  33. An intrapersonal, intertemporal solution to an interpersonal dilemma.Valerie Soon - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3353-3370.
    It is commonly accepted that what we ought to do collectively does not imply anything about what each of us ought to do individually. According to this line of reasoning, if cooperating will make no difference to an outcome, then you are not morally required to do it. And if cooperating will be personally costly to you as well, this is an even stronger reason to not do it. However, this reasoning results in a self-defeating, yet entirely predictable outcome. If (...)
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  34. An instrumentalist unification of zetetic and epistemic reasons.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Inquiry is an aim-directed activity, and as such governed by instrumental normativity. If you have reason to figure out a question, you have reason to take means to figuring it out. Beliefs are governed by epistemic normativity. On a certain pervasive understanding, this means that you are permitted – maybe required – to believe what you have sufficient evidence for. The norms of inquiry and epistemic norms both govern us as agents in pursuit of knowledge and understanding, and, on the (...)
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  35. Moral blame and rational criticism.Caj Strandberg - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):345-360.
    A central issue in practical philosophy concerns the relation between moral blameworthiness and normative reasons. As there has been little of direct exchange between the debate on reasons and the debate on blameworthiness, this topic has not received the attention it deserves. In this paper, I consider two notions about blameworthiness and reasons that are fundamental in respective field. The two notions might seem incontrovertible when considered individually, but I argue that they together entail claims that are highly contentious. In (...)
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  36. Rational Powers in Action: Instrumental Rationality and Extended Agency.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2021 - Oxford University Press.
    Rational Powers in Action presents a conception of instrumental rationality as governing actions that are extended in time with indeterminate ends. Tenenbaum argues that previous philosophical theories in this area, in focusing on momentary snapshots of the mind of idealized agents, miss central aspects of human rationality.
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  37. Instrumental Rationality: The Normativity of Means-Ends Coherence.John Brunero - 2020 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Rationality requires that we intend the means that we believe are necessary for achieving our ends. Instrumental Rationality explores the formulation and status of this requirement of means-ends coherence. In particular, it is concerned with understanding what means-ends coherence requires of us as believers and agents, and why.
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  38. The Instrumental Rule.Jeremy David Fix - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (4):444-462.
    Properly understood, the instrumental rule says to take means that actually suffice for my end, not, as is nearly universally assumed, to intend means that I believe are necessary for my end. This alternative explains everything the standard interpretation can—and more, including grounding certain correctness conditions for exercises of our will unexplained by the standard interpretation.
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  39. Enkratic Rationality Is Instrumental Rationality.Wooram Lee - 2020 - Philosophical Perspectives 34 (1):164-183.
    It is widely agreed that there is a rational requirement, “Enkrasia”, which requires that you intend what you believe you ought to do. This paper argues that Enkrasia is not an independent requirement of practical rationality: it is a special case of the requirement to be instrumentally rational. I argue for this view of Enkrasia through an analysis of an all‐things‐considered belief about what you ought to do. Believing, all‐thing‐considered, that you ought to φ implies being settled on a set (...)
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  40. The Tragedy of the Risk Averse.H. Orri Stefánsson - 2020 - Erkenntnis 88 (1):351-364.
    Those who are risk averse with respect to money, and thus turn down some gambles with positive monetary expectations, are nevertheless often willing to accept bundles involving multiple such gambles. Therefore, it might seem that such people should become more willing to accept a risky but favourable gamble if they put it in context with the collection of gambles that they predict they will be faced with in the future. However, it turns out that when a risk averse person adopts (...)
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  41. Instrumental reasons for belief: elliptical talk and elusive properties.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen & Mattias Skipper - 2020 - In Sebastian Schmidt & Gerhard Ernst (eds.), The Ethics of Belief and Beyond: Understanding Mental Normativity. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. pp. 109-125.
    Epistemic instrumentalists think that epistemic normativity is just a special kind of instrumental normativity. According to them, you have epistemic reason to believe a proposition insofar as doing so is conducive to certain epistemic goals or aims—say, to believe what is true and avoid believing what is false. Perhaps the most prominent challenge for instrumentalists in recent years has been to explain, or explain away, why one’s epistemic reasons often do not seem to depend on one’s aims. This challenge can (...)
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  42. Rational Powers in Action.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2020 - Oxford University Press.
  43. On not getting out of bed.Samuel Asarnow - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (6):1639-1666.
    This morning I intended to get out of bed when my alarm went off. Hearing my alarm, I formed the intention to get up now. Yet, for a time, I remained in bed, irrationally lazy. It seems I irrationally failed to execute my intention. Such cases of execution failure pose a challenge for Mentalists about rationality, who believe that facts about rationality supervene on facts about the mind. For, this morning, my mind was in order; it was my action that (...)
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  44. Fittingness and Good Reasoning.John Brunero - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 16 (2).
    Conor McHugh and Jonathan Way have defended a view of good reasoning according to which good reasoning is explained in terms of the preservation of fittingness. I argue that their Fittingness View is incorrect. Not all fittingness-preserving transitions in thought are instances of good reasoning.
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  45. If There Are No Diachronic Norms of Rationality, Why Does It Seem Like There Are?Ryan Doody - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (2):141-173.
    I offer an explanation for why certain sequences of decisions strike us as irrational while others do not. I argue that we have a standing desire to tell flattering yet plausible narratives about ourselves, and that cases of diachronic behavior that strike us as irrational are those in which you had the opportunity to hide something unflattering and failed to do so.
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  46. The Sunk Cost "Fallacy" Is Not a Fallacy.Ryan Doody - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6:1153-1190.
    Business and Economic textbooks warn against committing the Sunk Cost Fallacy: you, rationally, shouldn't let unrecoverable costs influence your current decisions. In this paper, I argue that this isn't, in general, correct. Sometimes it's perfectly reasonable to wish to carry on with a project because of the resources you've already sunk into it. The reason? Given that we're social creatures, it's not unreasonable to care about wanting to act in such a way so that a plausible story can be told (...)
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  47. An Instrumentalist Account of How to Weigh Epistemic and Practical Reasons for Belief.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen & Mattias Skipper - 2019 - Mind 129 (516):1071-1094.
    When one has both epistemic and practical reasons for or against some belief, how do these reasons combine into an all-things-considered reason for or against that belief? The question might seem to presuppose the existence of practical reasons for belief. But we can rid the question of this presupposition. Once we do, a highly general ‘Combinatorial Problem’ emerges. The problem has been thought to be intractable due to certain differences in the combinatorial properties of epistemic and practical reasons. Here we (...)
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  48. Dancy, Jonathan. Practical Shape: A Theory of Practical Reasoning. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. 208. $40.00. [REVIEW]Jonathan Way - 2019 - Ethics 129 (4):706-710.
  49. Subjectivism, instrumentalism, and prudentialism about reasons: On the normativity of instrumental transmission.Arash Abizadeh - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (2):387-402.
    According to a subjectivist theory, normative reasons are grounded in facts about our desires. According to an instrumentalist theory, reasons are grounded also in facts about the relevant means to desired objects. These are distinct theories. The widespread tendency to conflate the normativity of subjective and instrumentalist precepts obscures two facts. First, instrumentalist precepts incorporate a subjective element with an objective one. Second, combining these elements into a single theory of normative reasons requires explaining how and why they are to (...)
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  50. Trying Cognitivism: A Defence of the Strong Belief Thesis.Avery Archer - 2018 - Theoria 84 (2):140-156.
    According to the Strong Belief Thesis (SBT), intending to X entails the belief that one will X. John Brunero has attempted to impugn SBT by arguing that there are cases in which an agent intends to X but is unsure that she will X. Moreover, he claims that the standard reply to such putative counterexamples to SBT – namely, to claim that the unsure agent merely has an intention to try – comes at a high price. Specifically, it prevents SBT (...)
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