Social Theory and Practice 30 (4):507-533 (2004)
Mark LeBar
Florida State University
Rationalist opponents of Instrumentalism believe that reason can and should play some further role in determining our ends. Instrumentalists deny this: reason can generate only reasons for taking the necessary means to ends established antecedently by conative states. I argue that Instrumentalism cannot make adequate sense of the notion of ends. Instrumentalism requires a non-rational way of identifying ends and ascribing rational force to them, and there appears to be none consistent with Instrumentalism’s commitments. As an alternative I outline what I refer to as an Aristotelian conception of practical reason as a promising way of understanding practical rationality.
Keywords Ends  Instrumentalism
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DOI 10.5840/soctheorpract200430423
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