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How to Engage Reason: The Problem of Regress

In R. Jay Wallace, Philip Pettit, Samuel Scheffler & Michael Smith (eds.), Reason and Value: Themes From the Moral Philosophy of Joseph Raz. Clarendon Press (2004)

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  1. Know-How as Competence. A Rylean Responsibilist Account.David Löwenstein - 2017 - Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann.
    What does it mean to know how to do something? This book develops a comprehensive account of know-how, a crucial epistemic goal for all who care about getting things right, not only with respect to the facts, but also with respect to practice. It proposes a novel interpretation of the seminal work of Gilbert Ryle, according to which know-how is a competence, a complex ability to do well in an activity in virtue of guidance by an understanding of what it (...)
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  • The Abductive Case for Humeanism Over Quasi-Perceptual Theories of Desire.Derek Baker - 2014 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 8 (2):1-29.
    A number of philosophers have offered quasi-perceptual theories of desire, according to which to desire something is roughly to “see” it as having value or providing reasons. These are offered as alternatives to the more traditional Humean Theory of Motivation, which denies that desires have a representational aspect. This paper examines the various considerations offered by advocates to motivate quasi-perceptualism. It argues that Humeanism is in fact able to explain the same data that the quasi-perceptualist can explain, and in one (...)
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  • Deliberators Must Be Imperfect.Derek Clayton Baker - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (3):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 (...)
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  • Grounding Practical Normativity: Going Hybrid.Ruth Chang - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (1):163-187.
    In virtue of what is something a reason for action? That is, what makes a consideration a reason to act? This is a metaphysical or meta-normative question about the grounding of reasons for action. The answer to the grounding question has been traditionally given in ‘pure’, univocal terms. This paper argues that there is good reason to understand the ground of practical normativity as a hybrid of traditional ‘pure’ views. The paper 1) surveys the three leading ‘pure’ answers to the (...)
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  • Nietzschean Constructivism: Ethics and Metaethics for All and None.Alex Silk - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (3):244-280.
    This paper develops an interpretation of Nietzsche’s ethics and metaethics that reconciles his apparent antirealism with his engagement in normative discourse. Interpreting Nietzsche as a metaethical constructivist—as holding, to a first approximation, that evaluative facts are grounded purely in facts about the evaluative attitudes of the creatures to whom they apply—reconciles his vehement declarations that nothing is valuable in itself with his passionate expressions of a particular evaluative perspective and injunctions for the free spirits to create new values. Drawing on (...)
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  • Reasoning Without Regress.Luis Rosa - forthcoming - Synthese:1-16.
    In this paper I explore alternative ways of addressing the infinite regress problem of inference, as it was depicted in Lewis Carroll’s ‘What the Tortoise said to Achilles’. Roughly put, the problem is that if a claim to the effect that one’s premises give support to one’s conclusion must itself be part of one’s premises, then an infinite regress of reasons ensues. I discuss some recent attempts to solve that problem, but I find all of them to be wanting. Those (...)
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  • 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 (...)
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  • Activity, Passivity, and Normative Avowal.Andrew McAninch - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (1):2-24.
    The idea that agents can be active with respect to some of their actions, and passive with respect to others, is a widely held assumption within moral philosophy. But exactly how to characterize these notions is controversial. I argue that an agent is active just in case her action is one whose motive she can truly avow as reason-giving, or her action is one whose motive she can disavow, provided her disavowal effects appropriate modifications in her future motives. This view (...)
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  • Religious Experience, Voluntarist Reasons, and the Transformative Experience Puzzle.Rebecca Chan - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (1):269-287.
    Transformative experiences are epistemically and personally transformative: prior to having the experience, agents cannot predict the value of the experience and cannot anticipate how it will change their core values and preferences. Paul argues that these experiences pose a puzzle for standard decision-making procedures because values cannot be assigned to outcomes involving transformative experience. Responding philosophers are quick to point out that decision procedures are built to handle uncertainty, including the uncertainty generated by transformative experience. My paper enters here and (...)
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