Instrumental reasoning

In Julian Nida-Rümelin & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), Rationality, Rules and Structure. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 195-207 (2000)
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Like all reasoning, practical reasoning is a process that takes a person from some of her existing mental states to a new mental state. Theoretical reasoning concludes in a belief; practical reasoning in an intention. This paper concentrates on instrumental reasoning, a species of practical reasoning in general. It argues that instrumental reasoning is correct if the content of the reasoning is a valid derivation, just as theoretical reasoning is correct if its content is a valid derivation. It also argues that neither theoretical nor practical reasoning gives a reason for its conclusion. If a piece of reasoning is correct, it concludes in a state - a belief or an intention - that is rationally required by the states it is derived from, but rationally requiring a conclusion is not the same as giving a reason for it.



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John Broome
University Of Oxford

References found in this work

Practical reasoning.John Broome - 2002 - In José Luis Bermúdez & Alan Millar (eds.), Reason and Nature: Essays in the Theory of Rationality. Oxford University Press. pp. 85--111.
Deontic Logic.David Makinson & Lennart Aqvist - 1989 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 54 (4):1481.

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