The requirements of rationality


Requirements of rationality, like the following, have recently been the focus of much discussion: (1) Rationality requires of S that, if S intends that e and believes that e will not be so unless S intends that m, then S intends that m. (2) Rationality requires of S that S not both believe p and believe not-p.1 How many requirements there are and how precisely to state them is a matter of controversy, but I will focus on a different kind of controversy, namely, how to conceive of such requirements in general.2 I will start by sketching a picture of their general nature and role that I find compelling and attractive. My picture is not, however, consistent with many of the recent approaches to rational requirements in the literature. 3 As I will try to show, the arguments that are often made about rational requirements assume, mostly implicitly, that my picture is flawed. These arguments do not, however, or so I will claim, actually give us reason to reject my picture of rational requirements. Indeed, many of the puzzles about rational requirements taken up by others turn out not to really be puzzles once we realize that this alternative picture..



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Nadeem J.Z. Hussain
Stanford University

Citations of this work

The Normativity of Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Structural Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter & Alex Worsnip - 2023 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Respect and the reality of apparent reasons.Kurt L. Sylvan - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3129-3156.
How Does Coherence Matter?Niko Kolodny - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt3):229 - 263.
The Myth of Practical Consistency.Niko Kolodny - 2008 - European Journal of Philosophy 16 (3):366-402.

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References found in this work

Why be rational.Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.
Normative requirements.John Broome - 1999 - Ratio 12 (4):398–419.
Doxastic deliberation.Nishi Shah & J. David Velleman - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (4):497-534.
What The Tortoise Said To Achilles.Lewis Carroll - 1895 - Mind 104 (416):691-693.

View all 15 references / Add more references