The property of rationality: a guide to what rationality requires?

Philosophical Studies 175 (1):117-140 (2018)
Authors
Julian Fink
Universität Bayreuth
Abstract
Can we employ the property of rationality in establishing what rationality requires? According to a central and formal thesis of John Broome’s work on rational requirements, the answer is ‘no’—at least if we expect a precise answer. In particular, Broome argues that the property of full rationality is independent of whether we formulate conditional requirements of rationality as having a wide or a narrow logical scope. That is, by replacing a wide-scope requirement with a corresponding narrow-scope requirement, we do not alter the situations in which a person is fully rational. As a consequence, the property of full rationality is unable to guide us in determining whether a rational requirement has a wide or a narrow logical scope. We cannot resolve the wide/narrow scope debate by appealing to a theory of fully rational attitudes. This paper argues that, and are incorrect. Replacing a wide- with a corresponding narrow-scope requirement can alter the set of circumstances in which a person is fully rational. The property of full rationality is therefore not independent of whether we formulate conditional requirements of rationality as having a wide or a narrow logical scope. As a consequence, the property of full rationality can guide us in determining what rationality requires—even in cases where we expect a precise answer.
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-017-0858-9
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References found in this work BETA

Why Be Rational?Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.
Normative Requirements.John Broome - 1999 - Ratio 12 (4):398–419.
Wide or Narrow Scope?John Broome - 2007 - Mind 116 (462):359-370.
Means-End Coherence, Stringency, and Subjective Reasons.Mark Schroeder - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 143 (2):223 - 248.

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