About this topic

Rational requirements, as the expression has come to be used, are requirements of coherence – for instance, the requirements to be consistent in your beliefs and in your intentions, and to intend what you take to be the necessary means to the ends you intend. The central questions about such requirements include: (i) how are rational requirements best formulated? For instance, should we accept so-called wide- or narrow-scope formulations of rational requirements (ii) Are there reasons to comply with rational requirements (that is, to be coherent)? If not, in what sense, if any, is rationality normative? (iii) How do rational requirements relate to other kinds of requirements (for instance, requirements of morality or prudence) and other normative notions, such as reasons, ‘ought’, and good reasoning?

Key works Much recent work on this topic takes off from Broome 1999 and Kolodny 2005
Introductions Way 2010
Related categories

228 found
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  1. added 2018-12-06
    Accuracy and Credal Imprecision.Dominik Berger & Nilanjan Das - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Many have claimed that epistemic rationality sometimes requires us to have imprecise credal states (i.e. credal states representable only by sets of credence functions) rather than precise ones (i.e. credal states representable by single credence functions). Some writers have recently argued that this claim conflicts with accuracy-centered epistemology, i.e., the project of justifying epistemic norms by appealing solely to the overall accuracy of the doxastic states they recommend. But these arguments are far from decisive. In this essay, we prove some (...)
  2. added 2018-11-04
    On the Normativity of Rationality and of Normative Reasons.Clayton Littlejohn & Julien Dutant - manuscript
    Abstract: Scepticism about the normativity of rationality is often partially based on the assumption that normative reasons are normative. Starting from the assumption that normative reasons are normative, someone will argue that reasons and rationality can require different things from us and conclude that rationality must not be normative. We think that the assumption that normative reasons are normative is one that deserves more scrutiny, particularly if it turns out, as we shall argue, that no one has yet shown that (...)
  3. added 2018-11-01
    Reasoning with Unconditional Intention.Jens Gillessen - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Research 42:177-201.
    Suppose that you intend to go to the theater. Are you therein intending the unconditional proposition that you go to the theater? That would seem to be deeply irrational; after all, you surely do not intend to go if, for instance, in the next instant an earthquake is going to devastate the city. What we intend we do not intend ‘no matter what,’ it is often said. But if so—how can anyone ever rationally intend simply to perform an action of (...)
  4. added 2018-10-24
    Review of The Value of Rationality by Ralph Wedgwood. [REVIEW]Benjamin Kiesewetter - forthcoming - Ethics 129 (3).
  5. added 2018-10-08
    Belief, Credence, and Evidence.Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    I explore how rational belief and rational credence relate to evidence. I begin by looking at three cases where rational belief and credence seem to respond differently to evidence: cases of naked statistical evidence, lotteries, and hedged assertions. I consider an explanation for these cases, namely, that one ought not form beliefs on the basis of statistical evidence alone, and raise worries for this view. Then, I suggest another view that explains how belief and credence relate to evidence. My view (...)
  6. added 2018-10-08
    Higher-Order Defeat and Intellectual Responsibility.Ru Ye - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    It’s widely accepted that higher-order defeaters, i.e., evidence that one’s belief is formed in an epistemically defective way, can defeat doxastic justification. However, it’s yet unclear how exactly such kind of defeat happens. Given that many theories of doxastic justification can be understood as fitting the schema of proper basing on propositional justifiers, we might attempt to explain the defeat either by arguing that a higher-order defeater defeats propositional justification or by arguing that it defeats proper basing. It has been (...)
  7. added 2018-10-05
    The Value of Rationality.Ralph Wedgwood - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
    Ralph Wedgwood gives a general account of what it is for states of mind and processes of thought to count as rational. Whether you are thinking rationally depends purely on what is going on in your mind, but rational thinking is a means to the goal of getting things right in your thinking, by believing the truth or making good choices.
  8. added 2018-10-04
    Instrumental Rationality Without Separability.Johanna Thoma - 2018 - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    This paper argues that instrumental rationality is more permissive than expected utility theory. The most compelling instrumentalist argument in favour of separability, its core requirement, is that agents with non-separable preferences end up badly off by their own lights in some dynamic choice problems. I argue that once we focus on the question of whether agents' attitudes to uncertain prospects help define their ends in their own right, or instead only assign instrumental value in virtue of the outcomes they may (...)
  9. added 2018-09-25
    Peer Disagreement and the Bridge Principle.Marc-Kevin Daoust - forthcoming - Topoi:1-11.
    One explanation of rational peer disagreement is that agents find themselves in an epistemically permissive situation. In fact, some authors have suggested that, while evidence could be impermissive at the intrapersonal level, it is permissive at the interpersonal level. In this paper, I challenge such a claim. I will argue that, at least in cases of rational disagreement under full disclosure, there cannot be more interpersonal epistemically permissive situations than there are intrapersonal epistemically permissive situations. In other words, with respect (...)
  10. added 2018-09-20
    The Explanatory Role of Consistency Requirements.Marc-Kevin Daoust - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    Is epistemic inconsistency a mere symptom of having violated other requirements of rationality—notably, reasons-responsiveness requirements? Or is inconsistency irrational on its own? This question has important implications for the debate on the normativity of epistemic rationality. In this paper, I defend a new account of the explanatory role of the requirement of epistemic consistency. Roughly, I will argue that, in cases where an epistemically rational agent is permitted to believe P and also permitted to disbelieve P, the consistency requirement plays (...)
  11. added 2018-09-18
    Cognitivism About Practical Rationality.John Brunero - 2014 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 9:18-44.
  12. added 2018-09-17
    Permissivism and the Value of Rationality A Challenge to the Uniqueness Thesis.Miriam Schoenfield - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    In recent years, permissivism—the claim that a body of evidence can rationalize more than one response—has enjoyed somewhat of a revival. But it is once again being threatened, this time by a host of new and interesting arguments that, at their core, are challenging the permissivist to explain why rationality matters. A version of the challenge that I am especially interested in is this: if permissivism is true, why should we expect the rational credences to be more accurate than the (...)
  13. added 2018-09-04
    How Supererogation Can Save Intrapersonal Permissivism.Han Li - forthcoming - American Philosophical Quarterly.
    Rationality is intrapersonally permissive just in case there are multiple doxastic states that one agent may be rational in holding at a given time, given some body of evidence. One way for intrapersonal permissivism to be true is if there are epistemic supererogatory beliefs – beliefs that go beyond the call of epistemic duty. Despite this, there has been almost no discussion of epistemic supererogation in the permissivism literature. This paper shows that this is a mistake. It does this by (...)
  14. added 2018-09-04
    Benjamin Kiesewetter, The Normativity of Rationality. [REVIEW]Alex Worsnip - 2018 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  15. added 2018-08-16
    Higher-Order Defeat and the Impossibility of Self-Misleading Evidence.Mattias Skipper - forthcoming - In Mattias Skipper & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (eds.), Higher-Order Evidence: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
  16. added 2018-08-15
    Higher-Order Defeat and Doxastic Resilience.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - forthcoming - In Mattias Skipper & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (eds.), Higher-Order Evidence: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
    It seems obvious that when higher-order evidence makes it rational for one to doubt that one’s own belief on some matter is rational, this can undermine the rationality of that belief. This is known as higher-order defeat. However, despite its intuitive plausibility, it has proved puzzling how higher-order defeat works, exactly. To highlight two prominent sources of puzzlement, higher-order defeat seems to defy being understood in terms of conditionalization; and higher-order defeat can sometimes place agents in what seem like epistemic (...)
  17. added 2018-08-01
    Practical Reason, Sympathy and Reactive Attitudes.Max Khan Hayward - 2017 - Noûs.
    This paper has three aims. First, I defend, in its most radical form, Hume's scepticism about practical reason, as it applies to purely self-regarding matters. It's not always irrational to discount the future, to be inconstant in one's preferences, to have incompatible desires, to not pursue the means to one's ends, or to fail to maximize one's own good. Second, I explain how our response to the “irrational” agent should be understood as an expression of frustrated sympathy, in Adam Smith's (...)
  18. added 2018-07-30
    Towards an Ecumenical Theory of Normative Reasons.Caj Sixten Strandberg - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (1):69-100.
    A theory of normative reasons for action faces the fundamental challenge of accounting for the dual nature of reasons. On the one hand, some reasons appear to depend on, and vary with, desires. On the other hand, some reasons appear categorical in the sense of being desire‐independent. However, it has turned out to be difficult to provide a theory that accommodates both these aspects. Internalism is able to account for the former aspect, but has difficulties to account for the latter, (...)
  19. added 2018-07-25
    Grit.Sarah Paul & Jennifer Morton - 2018 - Ethics 129 (2):175-203.
    Many of our most important goals require months or even years of effort to achieve, and some never get achieved at all. As social psychologists have lately emphasized, success in pursuing such goals requires the capacity for perseverance, or "grit." Philosophers have had little to say about grit, however, insofar as it differs from more familiar notions of willpower or continence. This leaves us ill-equipped to assess the social and moral implications of promoting grit. We propose that grit has an (...)
  20. added 2018-07-24
    On the Elusive Notion of Meta-Agreement.V. Ottonelli & D. Porello - 2013 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 12 (1):68-92.
    Public deliberation has been defended as a rational and noncoercive way to overcome paradoxical results from democratic voting, by promoting consensus on the available alternatives on the political agenda. Some critics have argued that full consensus is too demanding and inimical to pluralism and have pointed out that single-peakedness, a much less stringent condition, is sufficient to overcome voting paradoxes. According to these accounts, deliberation can induce single-peakedness through the creation of a ‘meta-agreement’, that is, agreement on the dimension according (...)
  21. added 2018-06-25
    Normative Judgment and Rational Requirements: A Reply to Ridge.Francesco Orsi - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (2):281-290.
    I examine and rebut Ridge’s two arguments for Capacity Judgment Internalism (simply qua their particular character and content, first person normative judgments are necessarily capable of motivating without the help of any independent desire). First, the rejection of the possibility of anormativism (sec. 2), second, an argument from the rational requirement to intend to do as one judges that one ought to do (sec. 3). I conclude with a few remarks about the nature of this requirement and about verdicts of (...)
  22. added 2018-06-12
    Reasons, Rationality, Reasoning: How Much Pulling-Apart?Alex Worsnip - 2018 - Problema 12.
    At the heart of John Broome’s research program in the philosophy of normativity is a distinction between reasons, on one hand, and requirements of rationality, on the other. I am a friend of Broome’s view that this distinction is deep and important, and that neither notion can be analyzed in terms of the other. However, I also think there are major challenges that this view is yet to meet. In the first part of the paper, I’ll raise four such challenges, (...)
  23. added 2018-06-04
    The Justification of Deductive Inference and the Rationality of Believing for a Reason.Gian-Andri Toendury - 2007 - Dissertation, Université de Fribourg
    The present PhD thesis is concerned with the question whether good reasoning requires that the subject has some cognitive grip on the relation between premises and conclusion. One consideration in favor of such a requirement goes as follows: In order for my belief-formation to be an instance of reasoning, and not merely a causally related sequence of beliefs, the process must be guided by my endorsement of a rule of reasoning. Therefore I must have justified beliefs about the relation between (...)
  24. added 2018-06-02
    Moral Uncertainty and Value Comparison.Amelia Hicks - forthcoming - In Russ Shafer Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 13. Oxford, UK: pp. 161-183.
    Several philosophers have recently argued that decision-theoretic frameworks for rational choice under risk fail to provide prescriptions for choice in cases of moral uncertainty. They conclude that there are no rational norms that are “sensitive” to a decision-maker's moral uncertainty. But in this paper, I argue that one sometimes has a rational obligation to take one's moral uncertainty into account in the course of moral deliberation. I first provide positive motivation for the view that one's moral beliefs can affect what (...)
  25. added 2018-05-25
    Willing the End Means Willing the Means: An Overlooked Reading of Kant.Wooram Lee - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5.
    In his Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant famously calls the following proposition “analytic”: “whoever wills the end also wills the indispensably necessary means to it that is in his control”. Read naïvely, with little attention to the caveat in the parenthesis, this proposition is most straightforwardly interpreted as specifying a descriptive relation between willing an end and willing the necessary means to it. It simply tells us what we do in willing an end, not what we ought to (...)
  26. added 2018-05-11
    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 (...)
  27. added 2018-05-08
    One Standard to Rule Them All?Marc‐Kevin Daoust - forthcoming - Ratio.
    It has been argued that an epistemically rational agent’s evidence is subjectively mediated through some rational epistemic standards, and that there are incompatible but equally rational epistemic standards available to agents. This supports Permissiveness, the view according to which one or multiple fully rational agents are permitted to take distinct incompatible doxastic attitudes towards P (relative to a body of evidence). In this paper, I argue that the above claims entail the existence of a unique and more reliable epistemic standard. (...)
  28. added 2018-04-11
    Being More Realistic About Reasons: On Rationality and Reasons Perspectivism.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    This paper looks at whether it is possible to unify the requirements of rationality with the demands of normative reasons. It might seem impossible to do because one depends upon the agent’s perspective and the other upon features of the situation. Enter Reasons Perspectivism. Reasons perspectivists think they can show that rationality does consist in responding correctly to reasons by placing epistemic constraints on these reasons. They think that if normative reasons are subject to the right epistemic constraints, rational requirements (...)
  29. added 2018-03-25
    Reasoning, Rational Requirements, and Occurrent Attitudes.Wooram Lee - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (4):1343-1357.
    This paper explores the sense in which rational requirements govern our attitudes like belief and intention. I argue that there is a tension between the idea that rational requirements govern attitudes understood as standing states and the attractive idea that we can directly satisfy the requirements by performing reasoning. I identify the tension by (a) illustrating how a dispositional conception of belief can cause trouble for the idea that we can directly revise our attitudes through reasoning by considering John Broome's (...)
  30. added 2018-03-21
    On the Scope, Jurisdiction, and Application of Rationality and the Law.Daniel Fogal - 2018 - Problema 12:21-57.
  31. added 2018-03-19
    Epistemic Akrasia and Epistemic Reasons.Marc-Kevin Daoust - forthcoming - Episteme:1-21.
    It seems that epistemically rational agents should avoid incoherent combinations of beliefs and should respond correctly to their epistemic reasons. However, some situations seem to indicate that such requirements cannot be simultaneously satisfied. In such contexts, assuming that there is no unsolvable dilemma of epistemic rationality, either (i) it could be rational that one’s higher-order attitudes do not align with one’s first-order attitudes or (ii) requirements such as responding correctly to epistemic reasons that agents have are not genuine rationality requirements. (...)
  32. added 2018-03-08
    Can Worsnip’s Strategy Solve the Puzzle of Misleading Higher-Order Apparent Evidence?Paul Silva - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-13.
    It's plausible to think that we're rationally required to follow our total evidence. It's also plausible to think that there are coherence requirements on rationality. It's also plausible to think that higher-order evidence can be misleading. Several epistemologists have recognized the puzzle these claims generate, and the puzzle seems to have only startling and unattractive solutions that involve the rejection of intuitive principles. Yet Alex Worsnip (Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, forthcoming) has recently argued that this puzzle has a tidy, attractive, (...)
  33. added 2018-03-05
    Following the Law Because It’s the Law: Obedience, Bootstrapping, and Practical Reason.Paul Schofield - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 21 (3):400-411.
    Voluntarists in the early modern period speak of an agent’s following the law because she was ordered to do so or because it’s the law. Contemporary philosophers tend either to ignore or to dismiss the possibility of justified obedience of this sort – that is, they ignore or dismiss the possibility that something’s being the law could in itself constitute a good reason to act. In this paper, I suggest that this view isn’t taken seriously because of certain widespread beliefs (...)
  34. added 2018-03-01
    Moral Rationalism and the Normativity of Constitutive Principles.Zachary Bachman - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (1):1-19.
    Recently, Christine Bratu and Mortiz Dittmeyer have argued that Christine Korsgaard’s constitutive project fails to establish the normativity of practical principles because it fails to show why a principle’s being constitutive of a practice shows that one ought to conform to that principle. They argue that in many cases a principle’s being constitutive of a practice has no bearing on whether one ought to conform to it. In this paper I argue that Bratu and Dittmeyer’s argument fails in three important (...)
  35. added 2018-02-22
    Conflicting Intentions: Rectifying the Consistency Requirements.Hein Duijf, Jan Broersen & John-Jules Ch Meyer - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    Many philosophers are convinced that rationality dictates that one’s overall set of intentions be consistent. The starting point and inspiration for our study is Bratman’s planning theory of intentions. According to this theory, one needs to appeal to the fulfilment of characteristic planning roles to justify norms that apply to our intentions. Our main objective is to demonstrate that one can be rational despite having mutually inconsistent intentions. Conversely, it is also shown that one can be irrational despite having a (...)
  36. added 2018-02-11
    Varieties of Practical Inference. Clarke - 1979 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):273-286.
  37. added 2018-02-11
    The Role of Practical Inferences in Deliberation. Clarke - 1977 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 15 (1):15-25.
  38. added 2018-02-06
    Accuracy and Ur-Prior Conditionalization.Nilanjan Das - forthcoming - Review of Symbolic Logic:1-35.
    Recently, several epistemologists have defended an attractive principle of epistemic rationality, which we shall call Ur-Prior Conditionalization. In this essay, I ask whether we can justify this principle by appealing to the epistemic goal of accuracy. I argue that any such accuracy-based argument will be in tension with Evidence Externalism, i.e., the view that agent's evidence may entail non-trivial propositions about the external world. This is because any such argument will crucially require the assumption that, independently of all empirical evidence, (...)
  39. added 2018-01-13
    Delineating The Reasonable And Rational For Humans.Michael David Baumtrog - 2014 - ISSA Proceedings 2014.
    The notions of “rational” and “reasonable” have much in common but are not synonymous. Conducting a review of the literature points to (at least) two distinct but related ideas as well as a middle “grey” area. This paper investigates and compares some characterizations of these notions and defends the view that focusing on reasonableness is best for those interested in human instances of reasoning and argumentation.
  40. added 2018-01-10
    Rationality as the Capacity for Understanding1.Karl Schafer - 2017 - Noûs.
    In this essay, I develop and defend a virtue-theoretic conception of rationality as a capacity whose function is understanding, as opposed to mere truth or correctness. I focus on two main potential advantages of this view. First, its ability to explain the rationality of forms of explanatory reasoning, and second, its ability to offer a more unified account of theoretical and practical rationality.
  41. added 2018-01-09
    Emotionally Guiding Our Actions.Mary Carman - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (1):43-64.
    If emotions have a rational role in action, then one challenge for accounting for how we can act rationally when acting emotionally is to show how we can guide our actions by our emotional considerations, seen as reasons. In this paper, I put forward a novel proposal for how this can be so. Drawing on the interconnection between emotions, cares and caring, I argue that, as the emotional agent is a caring agent, she can be aware of the emotional consideration (...)
  42. added 2017-12-27
    Review: John Broome, Rationality Through Reasoning. [REVIEW]Review by: Aaron Bronfman - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):1194-1199,.
  43. added 2017-12-27
    Broome, John. Rationality Through Reasoning.Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. Pp. 322. $99.95.Aaron Bronfman - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):1194-1199.
  44. added 2017-12-27
    Review: John Broome, Rationality Through Reasoning. [REVIEW]Aaron Bronfman - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):1194-1199.
  45. added 2017-12-27
    Enkrasia.John Broome - 2013 - Organon F 20 (4):425-436.
  46. added 2017-12-27
    Two Approaches to Instrumental Rationality and Belief Consistency.John Brunero - 2005 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 1 (1):1-20.
    R. Jay Wallace argues that the normativity of instrumental rationality can be traced to the independent rational requirement to hold consistent beliefs. I present three objections to this view. John Broome argues that there is a structural similarity between the rational requirements of instrumental rationality and belief consistency. Since he does not reduce the former to the latter, his view can avoid the objections to Wallace’s view. However, we should not think Broome’s account explains the whole of instrumental rationality since (...)
  47. added 2017-11-15
    Rationality, Time and Normativity: On Hedden’s Time-Slice Rationality.Sabine Döring & Bahadir Eker - 2017 - Analysis 77 (3):571-585.
    In his stimulating recent book Reasons without Persons, Brian Hedden develops a novel theory of rationality that he calls Time-Slice Rationality. One of the main theses of TSR is that all rational requirements are synchronic. We argue here first that this thesis is not well-motivated. We also demonstrate that Hedden is in fact committed to an even stronger claim about the rationality of an agent at a time. Finally, we provide some arguments against the conception of rationality that results from (...)
  48. added 2017-11-10
    The Virtuous Tortoise.David Botting - 2017 - Philosophical Investigations 40 (1):31-39.
    There is no philosophically interesting distinction to be made between inference-rules and premises. That there is such a distinction is often held to follow from the possibility of infinite regress illustrated by Carroll's story of Achilles and the tortoise. I will argue that this is wrong on three separate grounds. Consequently, Carroll's fable provides no motivation to abandon the traditional logical separation of arguments into their premises and conclusions. There is no proposition that must be taken to be a rule (...)
  49. added 2017-11-08
    Rationality and Transitivity in Social Explanation: Logical-Mathematical Aspects.Ioan Biriș - 2015 - Balkan Journal of Philosophy 7 (1):65-70.
    The term “rationality” is applied to many different things, from beliefs and preferences to decisions and choices, actions and behaviors, people, collectivities, andinstitutions. Therefore this paper will limit its considerations only to social preferences and choices in order to clarify the role of rationality in social explanation. The paper will focus on degrees of rationality, calling upon the concept of transitivity for help.
  50. added 2017-11-08
    Rational Decision Making: Balancing RUN and JUMP Modes of Analysis.Tilmann Betsch & Carsten Held - 2012 - Mind and Society 11 (1):69-80.
    Rationality in decision making is commonly assessed by comparing choice performance against normative standards. We argue that such a performance-centered approach blurs the distinction between rational choice and adaptive behavior. Instead, rational choice should be assessed with regard to the way individuals make analytic decisions. We suggest that analytic decisions can be made in two different modes in which control processes are directed at different levels. In a RUN mode, thought is directed at controlling the operation of a decision strategy. (...)
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