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The Normativity of Rationality

Oxford: Oxford University Press (2017)

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  1. Practical Reasoning.Antti Kauppinen - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter presents two contemporary pictures of practical reasoning. According to the Rule-Guidance Conception, roughly, practical reasoning is a rule-guided operation of acquiring (or retaining or giving up) intentions so as to meet synchronic requirements of rationality. According to the Reasons-Responsiveness Conception, practical reasoning is a process of responding to reasons we take ourselves to have, and its standards of correctness derive from what we objectively have reason to do, if things are as we suppose them to be. I argue (...)
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  • Do You See What I Know? On Reasons, Perceptual Evidence, and Epistemic Status.Clayton Littlejohn - 2020 - Philosophical Issues 30 (1):205-220.
    Our epistemology can shape the way we think about perception and experience. Speaking as an epistemologist, I should say that I don’t necessarily think that this is a good thing. If we think that we need perceptual evidence to have perceptual knowledge or perceptual justification, we will naturally feel some pressure to think of experience as a source of reasons or evidence. In trying to explain how experience can provide us with evidence, we run the risk of either adopting a (...)
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  • A Puzzle About Enkratic Reasoning.Jonathan Way - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Enkratic reasoning – reasoning from believing that you ought to do something to an intention to do that thing – seems good. But there is a puzzle about how it could be. Good reasoning preserves correctness, other things equal. But enkratic reasoning does not preserve correctness. This is because what you ought to do depends on your epistemic position, but what it is correct to intend does not. In this paper, I motivate these claims and thus show that there is (...)
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  • We Make Up the Rules as We Go Along: Improvisation as an Essential Aspect of Human Practices?Georg W. Bertram & Alessandro Bertinetto - 2020 - Open Philosophy 3 (1):202-221.
    The article presents the conceptual groundwork for an understanding of the essentially improvisational dimension of human rationality. It aims to clarify how we should think about important concepts pertinent to central aspects of human practices, namely, the concepts of improvisation, normativity, habit, and freedom. In order to understand the sense in which human practices are essentially improvisational, it is first necessary to criticize misconceptions about improvisation as lack of preparation and creatio ex nihilo. Second, it is necessary to solve the (...)
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  • The explanatory role of consistency requirements.Marc-Kevin Daoust - 2020 - Synthese 197 (10):4551-4569.
    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 (...)
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  • Contrary-to-Duty Scenarios, Deontic Dilemmas, and Transmission Principles.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2018 - Ethics 129 (1):98-115.
    Actualists hold that contrary-to-duty scenarios give rise to deontic dilemmas and provide counterexamples to the transmission principle, according to which we ought to take the necessary means to actions we ought to perform. In an earlier article, I have argued, contrary to actualism, that the notion of ‘ought’ that figures in conclusions of practical deliberation does not allow for deontic dilemmas and validates the transmission principle. Here I defend these claims, together with my possibilist account of contrary-to-duty scenarios, against Stephen (...)
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  • Basic Knowledge and the Normativity of Knowledge: The Awareness-First Solution.Paul Silva Jr - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Many have found it plausible that knowledge is a constitutively normative state, i.e. a state that is grounded in the possession of reasons. Many have also found it plausible that certain cases of proprioceptive knowledge, memorial knowledge, and self-evident knowledge are cases of knowledge that are not grounded in the possession of reasons. I refer to these as cases of basic knowledge. The existence of basic knowledge forms a primary objection to the idea that knowledge is a constitutively normative state. (...)
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  • Expressivism and Explaining Irrationality: Reply to Baker.Sebastian Hengst - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-14.
    In a recent paper in this journal, Derek Baker :829–852, 2018) raises an objection to expressivism as it has been developed by Mark Schroeder. Baker argues that Schroeder’s expressivist is committed to certain sentences expressing rationally incoherent states of mind, and he objects that the expressivist cannot explain why these states would be rationally incoherent. The aim of this paper is to show that Baker’s argument for is unsound, and that is unlikely to be true. This obviates the need to (...)
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  • How Do Reasons Transmit to Non-Necessary Means?Benjamin Kiesewetter & Jan Gertken - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-15.
    Which principles govern the transmission of reasons from ends to means? Some philosophers have suggested a liberal transmission principle, according to which agents have an instrumental reason for an action whenever this action is a means for them to do what they have non-instrumental reason to do. In this paper, we (i) discuss the merits and demerits of the liberal transmission principle, (ii) argue that there are good reasons to reject it, and (iii) present an alternative, less liberal transmission principle, (...)
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  • Are All Practical Reasons Based on Value?Benjamin Kiesewetter - manuscript
    According to an attractive and widely held view, all practical reasons can be explained in terms of the value of the action favoured by the reason. In this paper, I argue that this view incompatible with plausible assumptions about the practical reasons that go along with certain moral rights, including reasons to keep promises, reasons to obey legitimate authorities, reasons to respect property and reasons to distribute goods equally.
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  • You Ought to Φ Only If You May Believe That You Ought to Φ.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (265):760-82.
    In this paper I present an argument for the claim that you ought to do something only if you may believe that you ought to do it. More exactly, I defend the following principle about normative reasons: An agent A has decisive reason to φ only if she also has sufficient reason to believe that she has decisive reason to φ. I argue that this principle follows from the plausible assumption that it must be possible for an agent to respond (...)
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  • Requirements of intention in light of belief.Carlos Núñez - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2471-2492.
    Much work in the philosophy of action in the last few decades has focused on the elucidation and justification of a series of purported norms of practical rationality that concern the presence or absence of intention in light of belief, and that demand a kind of structural coherence in the psychology of an agent. Examples of such norms include: Intention Detachment, which proscribes intending to do something in case some condition obtains, believing that such condition obtains, and not intending to (...)
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  • Gründe, Rationalität und Parenthetikalismus. [REVIEW]Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2020 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 68 (3):481-491.
  • The Game of Belief.Barry Maguire & Jack Woods - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (2):211-249.
    It is plausible that there are epistemic reasons bearing on a distinctively epistemic standard of correctness for belief. It is also plausible that there are a range of practical reasons bearing on what to believe. These theses are often thought to be in tension with each other. Most significantly for our purposes, it is obscure how epistemic reasons and practical reasons might interact in the explanation of what one ought to believe. We draw an analogy with a similar distinction between (...)
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  • The Aim of Belief and the Aim of Science.Alexander Bird - 2019 - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 34 (2):171.
    I argue that the constitutive aim of belief and the constitutive aim of science are both knowledge. The ‘aim of belief’, understood as the correctness conditions of belief, is to be identified with the product of properly functioning cognitive systems. Science is an institution that is the social functional analogue of a cognitive system, and its aim is the same as that of belief. In both cases it is knowledge rather than true belief that is the product of proper functioning.
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  • On the Scope, Jurisdiction, and Application of Rationality and the Law.Daniel Fogal - 2018 - Problema 12:21-57.
  • A Puzzle About Knowledge, Blame, and Coherence.Marc-Kevin Daoust - 2019 - Acta Analytica 34 (4):493-503.
    Many philosophers have offered arguments in favor of the following three theses: A is epistemically permitted to believe P only if A is in a position to know that P, incoherent agents fail to satisfy the aforementioned knowledge norm of belief, and A’s apparent reasons are relevant to determining what A is blameworthy for believing. In this paper, I argue that the above three theses are jointly inconsistent. The main upshot of the paper is this: even if the knowledge norm (...)
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  • The Subjective Authority of Intention.Lilian O’Brien - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (275):354-373.
    While much has been written about the functional profile of intentions, and about their normative or rational status, comparatively little has been said about the subjective authority of intention. What is it about intending that explains the ‘hold’ that an intention has on an agent—a hold that is palpable from her first-person perspective? I argue that several prima facie appealing explanations are not promising. Instead, I maintain that the subjective authority of intention can be explained in terms of the inner (...)
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  • Being More Realistic About Reasons: On Rationality and Reasons Perspectivism.Clayton Littlejohn - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):605-627.
    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 (...)
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  • What Kind of Perspectivism?Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (4):415-443.
    According to perspectivism about moral obligation, our obligations are affected by our epistemic circumstances. But how exactly should this claim be understood? On Zimmerman’s “Prospective View”, perspectivism is spelled out as the thesis that an option is obligatory if and only if it maximizes what Zimmerman calls “prospective value”, which is in turn determined by the agent’s present evidence. In this article, I raise two objections to this approach. Firstly, I argue that spelling out the difference between perspectivism and anti-perspectivism (...)
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  • How Reasons Are Sensitive to Available Evidence.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2018 - In Conor McHugh, Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Normativity: Epistemic and Practical. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 90-114.
    In this paper, I develop a theory of how claims about an agent’s normative reasons are sensitive to the epistemic circumstances of this agent, which preserves the plausible ideas that reasons are facts and that reasons can be discovered in deliberation and disclosed in advice. I argue that a plausible theory of this kind must take into account the difference between synchronic and diachronic reasons, i.e. reasons for acting immediately and reasons for acting at some later point in time. I (...)
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  • Can the Lottery Paradox Be Solved by Identifying Epistemic Justification with Epistemic Permissibility?Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2019 - Episteme 16 (3):241-261.
    Thomas Kroedel argues that the lottery paradox can be solved by identifying epistemic justification with epistemic permissibility rather than epistemic obligation. According to his permissibility solution, we are permitted to believe of each lottery ticket that it will lose, but since permissions do not agglomerate, it does not follow that we are permitted to have all of these beliefs together, and therefore it also does not follow that we are permitted to believe that all tickets will lose. I present two (...)
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  • A Brief History of Rationality: Reason, Reasonableness, Rationality, and Reasons.Karl Schafer - 2018 - Manuscrito 41 (4):501-529.
    In this paper, I present a brief (and more than a little potted) history of the concepts of reason, rationality, reasonableness, and reasons in modern European philosophy and consider whether this history might support the "Anscombean" conclusion that, "The concepts of rationality and reasons ought to jettisoned if this is psychologically possible; because they are survivals, or derivatives from survivals, from an earlier conception of psychology and philosophy which no longer generally survives, and are only harmful without it.".
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  • Knowledge and the Many Norms on Action.James Fritz - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    If there is pragmatic encroachment in epistemology, whether a person knows that p can vary with normative facts about her actions—including facts that do not bear on the truth or likelihood of p. This paper raises an underappreciated question for defenders of pragmatic encroachment: which of the many norms on action are distinctively connected to knowledge? To the extent that contemporary defenders of pragmatic encroachment address this question, they do so by citing norms of ‘practical rationality.’ I show that this (...)
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  • Rational Requirements for Suspended Judgment.Luis Rosa - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    How does rationality bind the agnostic, that is, the one who suspends judgment about whether a given proposition is true? In this paper I explore two alternative ways of establishing what the rational requirements of agnosticism are: the Lockean–Bayesian framework and the doxastic logic framework. Each of these proposals faces strong objections. Fortunately, however, there is a rich kernel of requirements of agnosticism that are vindicated by both of them. One can then endorse the requirements that belong to that kernel (...)
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  • Benjamin Kiesewetter: The Normativity of Rationality: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. Hardcover £50.00. 336 Pages. [REVIEW]Vuko Andrić - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (5):1241-1243.
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  • Précis zu The Normativity of Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2017 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 71 (4):560-4.