Practical Wisdom: A Virtue for Resolving Conflicts among Practical Reasons

In Noell Birondo & S. Stewart Braun (eds.), Virtue's Reasons: New Essays on Virtue, Character, and Reasons. New York, NY, USA: pp. 147 - 167 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Normative reasons for action are facts or considerations that contribute to the justification of an action. Sometimes, normative reasons for action conflict: one reason may favor doing something, while another may favor not doing it. These conflicts can be so radical that it seems difficult, if not impossible, to judge which reason should ultimately guide one’s actions. According to a theory of practical rationality known as reasons pluralism, there are some radical cases of conflict among normative reasons for action in which there can be no fact of the matter about what one ought to do. This is because normative reasons fall into a plurality of types, and normative reasons of different types are incommensurable with one another. However, reasons pluralism is compatible with a principle that would enable us to judge when a normative reason of one type overrides a normative reason of another type. I will argue that this “Override Principle” is a facet of practical wisdom—an intellectual virtue. Practical wisdom, as Aristotle construed it, involves the ability to order one’s ends into a coherent system that allows for the attainment of a good life. The Override Principle is sure to be one criterion by which those endowed with practical wisdom would order their ends.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,202

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Reasons for Action.David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.) - 2009 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Motivating Reason to Slow the Factive Turn in Epistemology.J. Drake - forthcoming - In Veli Mitova (ed.), The Factive Turn in Epistemology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 1-22.
On desires and practical reasons.John J. Tilley - 2004 - Acta Analytica 19 (32):5-18.
Normative reasons and the possibility of motivation.Andrés Carlos Luco - 2014 - South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (1):47-63.
Practical Reasons, Practical Rationality, Practical Wisdom.Matthew S. Bedke - 2008 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (1):85-111.
In Defense of Practical Reasons for Belief.Stephanie Leary - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3):529-542.
Intellectual Isolation.Jeremy David Fix - 2018 - Mind 127 (506):491-520.
Practical Reasons and Internalism.Hans Vilhelm Hansen - 1990 - Dissertation, Wayne State University
Reasons with rationalism after all.Michael Smith - 2009 - Analysis 69 (3):521-530.


Added to PP

1 (#1,862,999)

6 months
1 (#1,444,594)

Historical graph of downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references