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
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209 found
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  1. Imre Lakatos and a Theory of Rationality.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    In this comprehensive work on theories of rationality, Leslie Allan builds on the seminal insights of Imre Lakatos. Allan begins by critically reviewing Lakatos' theory of rationality (MSRP) and his meta-theory of rationality (MHRP) and suggesting improvements to his scheme. Allan's main task is developing a theory of rationality that avoids Lakatos' Achilles' heel; the presupposition that science is a rational enterprise. To achieve this, he attempts to draw out from the general demands of an objectivist epistemology the various criteria (...)
  2. Towards an Objective Theory of Rationality.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    Drawing on insights from Imre Lakatos' seminal work on theories of rationality, Leslie Allan develops seven criteria for rational theory choice that avoid presuming the rationality of the scientific enterprise. He shows how his axioms of rationality follow from the general demands of an objectivist epistemology. Allan concludes by considering two weighty objections to his framework.
  3. Defending the Uniqueness Thesis - A Reply to Luis Rosa.Muralidharan Anantharaman - 2015 - Logos and Episteme 6 (1):129-139.
    The Uniqueness Thesis (U), according to Richard Feldman and Roger White, says that for a given set of evidence E and a proposition P, only one doxastic attitude about P is rational given E. Luis Rosa has recently provided two counterexamples against U which are supposed to show that even if there is a sense in which choosing between two doxastic attitudes is arbitrary, both options are equally and maximally rational. Both counterexamples work by exploiting the idea that ‘ought implies (...)
  4. The Voices of Reason.Chrisoula Andreou - 2005 - American Philosophical Quarterly 42 (1):33 - 45.
    It is widely held that instrumental reasoning to a practical conclusion is parasitic on non-instrumental practical reasoning. This conclusion is based on the claim that when there is no reason to adopt a certain end, there is no reason to take the means (qua means) to that end. But, as will be argued, while there is a sense of reason according to which the previous statement is true, there is another sense according to which it is false. Furthermore, in both (...)
  5. Rational Behaviour: A Review of the Requirements of Instrumental Rationality. [REVIEW]Ahmed Jamal Anwar - 2006 - Philosophy and Progress 39:11.
  6. 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 (...)
  7. 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 (...)
  8. A Paradox for Supertask Decision Makers.Andrew Bacon - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (2):307.
    I consider two puzzles in which an agent undergoes a sequence of decision problems. In both cases it is possible to respond rationally to any given problem yet it is impossible to respond rationally to every problem in the sequence, even though the choices are independent. In particular, although it might be a requirement of rationality that one must respond in a certain way at each point in the sequence, it seems it cannot be a requirement to respond as such (...)
  9. Constitutivism and Transcendental Practical Philosophy: How to Pull the Rabbit Out of the Hat.Sorin Baiasu - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-24.
    Constitutivism aims to justify substantial normative standards as constitutive of practical reason. In this way, it can defend the constructivist commitment to avoiding realism and anti-realism in normative disciplines. This metaphysical debate is the perspective from which the nature of the constitutivist justification is usually discussed. In this paper, I focus on a related, but distinct, debate. My concern will not be whether the substantial normative claims asserted by the constructivist have some elements, which are not constructed, but real, given (...)
  10. Deliberators Must Be Imperfect.Derek Clayton Baker - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):321-347.
    This paper argues that, with certain provisos, predicting one's future actions is incompatible with rationally deliberating about whether to perform those actions. It follows that fully rational omniscient agents are impossible, since an omniscient being could never rationally deliberate about what to do. Consequently, theories that explain practical reasons in terms of the choices of a perfectly rational omniscient agent must fail. The paper considers several ways of defending the possibility of an omniscient agent, and concludes that while some of (...)
  11. Decision Theory for Agents with Incomplete Preferences.Adam Bales, Daniel Cohen & Toby Handfield - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (3):453-70.
    Orthodox decision theory gives no advice to agents who hold two goods to be incommensurate in value because such agents will have incomplete preferences. According to standard treatments, rationality requires complete preferences, so such agents are irrational. Experience shows, however, that incomplete preferences are ubiquitous in ordinary life. In this paper, we aim to do two things: (1) show that there is a good case for revising decision theory so as to allow it to apply non-vacuously to agents with incomplete (...)
  12. 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.
  13. Review of Dale Dorsey, The Limits of Moral Authority. [REVIEW]Brian Berkey - 2017 - Ethics 128 (1):235-240.
  14. Decision Theory and Rationality.Jos Luis Bermdez - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    Decision Theory and Rationality offers a challenging new interpretation of a key theoretical tool in the human and social sciences. This accessible book argues, contrary to orthodoxy in politics, economics, and management science, that decision theory cannot provide a theory of rationality.
  15. 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. (...)
  16. 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.
  17. Christine Korsgaards moralfilosofi.Gunnar Björnsson - 2005 - Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift 1:38–54.
    Critical introduction in Swedish of Christine Korsgaard's Sources of Normativity and Self-Constitution.
  18. Rationally Self-Ascribed Anti-Expertise.Nicolas Bommarito - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (3):413-419.
    I argue that self-ascribed anti-expertise, taking our own beliefs to be false, is not always irrational.
  19. 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 (...)
  20. A Defence Of Broome’s First-Order Model Of Practical Reasoning.David Botting - 2014 - Prolegomena 13 (1):163-182.
    In this paper I will consider criticisms that have been raised against Broome’s first-order model of practical reasoning by Bratman, Brunero, and Høj. I will modify Broome’s exposition so that it is no longer vulnerable to these objections. The main modification I will make is that I will take the principle Broome dubs the “beliefintention link” to express a pragmatic implicature instead of a material implication, on the basis of which implicatures the process of reasoning Broome describes reaches the conclusion-states (...)
  21. Writing Requirements: Article 11-13.Ronald A. Brand, Harry Flechtner & Franco Ferrari - 2009 - In Ronald A. Brand, Harry Flechtner & Franco Ferrari (eds.), The Draft Uncitral Digest and Beyond: Cases, Analysis and Unresolved Issues in the U.N. Sales Convention. Sellier de Gruyter.
  22. Casey Perin’s The Demands of Reason.Tad Brennan - 2013 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 3 (4):283-293.
  23. Co–Operation and Communication in Apes and Humans.Ingar Brinck & Peter Gärdenfors - 2003 - Mind and Language 18 (5):484–501.
    We trace the difference between the ways in which apes and humans co–operate to differences in communicative abilities, claiming that the pressure for future–directed co–operation was a major force behind the evolution of language. Competitive co–operation concerns goals that are present in the environment and have stable values. It relies on either signalling or joint attention. Future–directed co–operation concerns new goals that lack fixed values. It requires symbolic communication and context–independent representations of means and goals. We analyse these ways of (...)
  24. Broome, John. Rationality Through Reasoning.Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. Pp. 322. $99.95.Aaron Bronfman - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):1194-1199.
  25. Review: John Broome, Rationality Through Reasoning. [REVIEW]Aaron Bronfman - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):1194-1199.
  26. Review: John Broome, Rationality Through Reasoning. [REVIEW]Review by: Aaron Bronfman - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):1194-1199,.
  27. Enkrasia.John Broome - 2013 - Organon F 20 (4):425-436.
  28. Rationality Through Reasoning.John Broome - 2013 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    _Rationality Through Reasoning_ answers the question of how people are motivated to do what they believe they ought to do, built on a comprehensive account of normativity, rationality and reasoning that differs significantly from much existing philosophical thinking. Develops an original account of normativity, rationality and reasoning significantly different from the majority of existing philosophical thought Includes an account of theoretical and practical reasoning that explains how reasoning is something we ourselves do, rather than something that happens in us Gives (...)
  29. Reply to Southwood, Kearns and Star, and Cullity.John Broome - 2008 - Ethics 119 (1):96-108.
  30. Wide or Narrow Scope?John Broome - 2007 - Mind 116 (462):359-370.
    This paper is a response to ‘Why Be Rational?’ by Niko Kolodny. Kolodny argues that we have no reason to satisfy the requirements of rationality. His argument assumes that these requirements have a logically narrow scope. To see what the question of scope turns on, this comment provides a semantics for ‘requirement’. It shows that requirements of rationality have a wide scope, at least under one sense of ‘requirement’. Consequently Kolodny's conclusion cannot be derived.
  31. Requirements.John Broome - 2007 - Hommage À Wlodek; 60 Philosophical Papers Dedicated to Wlodek Rabinowicz.
    The object of this paper is to explore the intersection of two issues – both of them of considerable interest in their own right. The first concerns the role that feasibility considerations play in constraining normative claims – claims, say, about what we (individually and collectively) ought to do and to be. This issue has particular relevance for the confrontation of moral philosophy with economics (and social science more generally). The second issue concerns whether normative claims are to be understood (...)
  32. Does Rationality Consist in Responding Correctly to Reasons?John Broome - 2007 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (3):349-374.
    Some philosophers think that rationality consists in responding correctly to reasons, or alternatively in responding correctly to beliefs about reasons. This paper considers various possible interpretations of ‘responding correctly to reasons’ and of ‘responding correctly to beliefs about reasons’, and concludes that rationality consists in neither, under any interpretation. It recognizes that, under some interpretations, rationality does entail responding correctly to beliefs about reasons. That is: necessarily, if you are rational you respond correctly to your beliefs about reasons.
  33. Does Rationality Give Us Reasons?John Broome - 2005 - Philosophical Issues 15 (1):321–337.
  34. Normative Practical Reasoning: John Broome.John Broome - 2001 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 75 (1):175–193.
    Practical reasoning is a process of reasoning that concludes in an intention. One example is reasoning from intending an end to intending what you believe is a necessary means: 'I will leave the next buoy to port; in order to do that I must tack; so I'll tack', where the first and third sentences express intentions and the second sentence a belief. This sort of practical reasoning is supported by a valid logical derivation, and therefore seems uncontrovertible. A more contentious (...)
  35. Normative Requirements.John Broome - 1999 - Ratio 12 (4):398–419.
    Normative requirements are often overlooked, but they are central features of the normative world. Rationality is often thought to consist in acting for reasons, but following normative requirements is also a major part of rationality. In particular, correct reasoning – both theoretical and practical – is governed by normative requirements rather than by reasons. This article explains the nature of normative requirements, and gives examples of their importance. It also describes mistakes that philosophers have made as a result of confusing (...)
  36. Instrumental Rationality, Symmetry and Scope.John Brunero - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (1):125-140.
    Instrumental rationality prohibits one from being in the following state: intending to pass a test, not intending to study, and believing one must intend to study if one is to pass. One could escape from this incoherent state in three ways: by intending to study, by not intending to pass, or by giving up one’s instrumental belief. However, not all of these ways of proceeding seem equally rational: giving up one’s instrumental belief seems less rational than giving up an end, (...)
  37. The Scope of Rational Requirements.John Brunero - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (238):28-49.
    Niko Kolodny has argued that some (local) rational requirements are narrow-scope requirements. Against this, I argue here that all (local) rational requirements are wide-scope requirements. I present a new objection to the narrow-scope interpretations of the four specific rational requirements which Kolodny considers. His argument for the narrow-scope interpretations of these four requirements rests on a false assumption, that an attitude which puts in place a narrow-scope rational requirement somewhere thereby puts in place a narrow-scope rational requirement everywhere. My argument (...)
  38. Two Approaches to Instrumental Rationality and Belief Consistency.John Brunero - 2005 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 1 (1).
    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 (...)
  39. Instrumental Rationality.John Brunero & Niko Kolodny - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  40. 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 (...)
  41. On the Legitimation of the Philosophy of Requirements.Yan Chang-wu - 2003 - Modern Philosophy 1:011.
  42. The Normative Requirement of Means-End Rationality and Modest Bootstrapping.Luis Cheng-Guajardo - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (3):487-503.
    “Myth theorists” have recently called the normative requirement of means-end rationality into question. I show that we can accept certain lessons from the Myth Theorists and also salvage our intuition that there is a normative requirement of means-end rationality. I argue that any appeal to a requirement to make our attitudes coherent as such is superfluous and unnecessary in order to vindicate the requirement of means-end rationality and also avoid the problematic conclusion that persons ought to take the means to (...)
  43. Putting Logic in its Place: Formal Constraints on Rational Belief.David Christensen - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
    What role, if any, does formal logic play in characterizing epistemically rational belief? Traditionally, belief is seen in a binary way - either one believes a proposition, or one doesn't. Given this picture, it is attractive to impose certain deductive constraints on rational belief: that one's beliefs be logically consistent, and that one believe the logical consequences of one's beliefs. A less popular picture sees belief as a graded phenomenon.
  44. Varieties of Practical Inference. Clarke - 1979 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):273-286.
  45. The Role of Practical Inferences in Deliberation. Clarke - 1977 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 15 (1):15-25.
  46. Preface Writers Are Consistent.Roger Clarke - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    The preface paradox does not show that it can be rational to have inconsistent beliefs, because preface writers do not have inconsistent beliefs. I argue, first, that a fully satisfactory solution to the preface paradox would have it that the preface writer's beliefs are consistent. The case here is on basic intuitive grounds, not the consequence of a theory of rationality or of belief. Second, I point out that there is an independently motivated theory of belief – sensitivism – which (...)
  47. Stop Making Sense? On a Puzzle About Rationality.Littlejohn Clayton - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:257-272.
    In this paper, I present a puzzle about epistemic rationality. It seems plausible that it should be rational to believe a proposition if you have sufficient evidential support for it. It seems plausible that it rationality requires you to conform to the categorical requirements of rationality. It also seems plausible that our first-order attitudes ought to mesh with our higher-order attitudes. It seems unfortunate that we cannot accept all three claims about rationality. I will present three ways of trying to (...)
  48. First-Personal Authority and the Normativity of Rationality.Christian Coons & David Faraci - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (4):733-740.
    In “Vindicating the Normativity of Rationality,” Nicholas Southwood proposes that rational requirements are best understood as demands of one’s “first-personal standpoint.” Southwood argues that this view can “explain the normativity or reason-giving force” of rationality by showing that they “are the kinds of thing that are, by their very nature, normative.” We argue that the proposal fails on three counts: First, we explain why demands of one’s first-personal standpoint cannot be both reason-giving and resemble requirements of rationality. Second, the proposal (...)
  49. Man, the Rational Animal - The Scope of Logic.William H. Crilly - 1965 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 39:194.
  50. Describing Rationality.Garrett Cullity - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3399-3411.
    This critical study of John Broome’s Rationality Through Reasoning raises some questions about the various requirements of rationality Broome formulates, pointing out some apparent gaps and counterexamples; proposes a general description of rationality that is broadly consistent with Broome’s requirements while providing them with a unifying justification, filling the gaps, and removing the counterexamples; and presents two objections to the book’s broader argument concerning the nature and importance of reasoning.
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