The special status of instrumental reasons

Philosophical Studies 134 (2):255 - 287 (2007)
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Abstract

The rationality of means-end reasoning is the bedrock of the Humean account of practical reasons. But the normativity of such reasoning can not be taken for granted. I consider and reject the idea that the normativity of instrumental reasoning can be explained – either in terms of its being constitutive of the very notion of having an end, or solely in terms of instrumental considerations. I argue that the instrumental principle is itself a brute norm, and that this is consistent with a Humean account of practical reasons.

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Stephanie Beardman
New York University

Citations of this work

Instrumental Rationality.John Brunero & Niko Kolodny - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Probabilizing the end.Jacob Stegenga - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):95-112.
Justificatory Reasons for Action.Georg Spielthenner - 2012 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 8 (2):56-72.

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References found in this work

The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
The possibility of altruism.Thomas Nagel - 1970 - Oxford,: Clarendon P..
The morality of freedom.J. Raz - 1988 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (1):108-109.
The Normativity of Instrumental Reason.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1997 - In Garrett Cullity & Berys Nigel Gaut (eds.), Ethics and practical reason. New York: Oxford University Press.
On the hypothetical and non-hypothetical in reasoning about belief and action.Peter Railton - 1997 - In Garrett Cullity & Berys Nigel Gaut (eds.), Ethics and practical reason. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 53--79.

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