Does the normative question about rationality rest on a mistake?

Synthese 195 (5):2021-2038 (2018)

Yair Levy
Tel Aviv University
Rationality requires that our mental attitudes exhibit specific patterns of coherence. Do we have reason to comply? 'Prichardian Quietists' regard this question as fundamentally confused: the only reasons to comply with rational requirements are the ones given by the requirements themselves. In this paper, I argue that PQ fails. I proceed by granting that Prichard's own position, from which PQ draws inspiration, is defensible, while identifying three serious problems with the parallel position about rationality. First, as I argue, PQ is not plausibly combined with either the narrow-scope or the wide-scope formulations of rational requirements. Second, PQ implies that the reasons to comply with rational requirements are reasons of the wrong kind. And finally, PQ lacks a crucial component of its explanation, viz. a plausible theory of what constitutes being rationally required to V.
Keywords reasons and rationality  practical rationality  normativity
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1314-2
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References found in this work BETA

On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Why Be Rational.Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.
The Domain of Reasons.John Skorupski - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
The Sources of Normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (196):384-394.

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