On the Normativity of Rationality and of Normative Reasons

Authors
Julien Dutant
King's College London
Clayton Littlejohn
King's College London
Abstract
Abstract: Scepticism about the normativity of rationality is often partially based on the assumption that normative reasons are normative. Starting from the assumption that normative reasons are normative, someone will argue that reasons and rationality can require different things from us and conclude that rationality must not be normative. We think that the assumption that normative reasons are normative is one that deserves more scrutiny, particularly if it turns out, as we shall argue, that no one has yet shown that the requirements of reasons and rationality might be unified. We look at the most promising proposals about how to unite the requirements of reasons and rationality and argue that they cannot succeed. In the course of doing so, we discuss a case that we think gives us good reason to think that good reasons are not the things that determine in each case what we ought to believe and/or do. We argue that the best way to deal with the examples discussed here might be to appeal to principles of rationality and acknowledge that following their guidance will not invariably ensure that we do what normative reasons (as they are usually understood) support. We think that it might just follow that normative reasons (as they are usually understood) cannot be the things that determine what would be rational to do or what we ought to do.
Keywords Normativity of Rationality  Preface Paradox  Statistical Evidence
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