Dialogue 30 (1-2):3-32 (1991)

Abstract
I argue that Gauthier's constrained-maximizer rationality is problematic. But standard Maximizing Rationality means one's preferences are only rational if it would not maximize on them to adopt new ones. In the Prisoner's Dilemma, it maximizes to adopt conditionally cooperative preferences. (These are detailed, with a view to avoiding problems of circularity of definition.) Morality then maximizes. I distinguish the roles played in rational choices and their bases by preferences, dispositions, moral and rational principles, the aim of rational action, and rational decision rules. I argue that Maximizing Rationality necessarily structures conclusive reasons for action. Thus conations of any sort can base rational choices only if the conations are structured like a coherent preference function; rational actions maximize on such functions. Maximization-constraining dispositions cannot integrate into a coherent preference function.
Keywords rationality  preferences  David Gauthier  Constrained Maximization  Prisoners Dilemma  preference revision  why be moral?
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DOI 10.1017/s0012217300013305
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References found in this work BETA

Morals by Agreement.Richmond Campbell - 1988 - Philosophical Quarterly 38 (152):343-364.
Some Paradoxes of Deterrence.Gregory S. Kavka - 1978 - Journal of Philosophy 75 (6):285-302.
Morality and Advantage.David P. Gauthier - 1967 - Philosophical Review 76 (4):460-475.

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Citations of this work BETA

Preference-Revision and the Paradoxes of Instrumental Rationality.Duncan MacIntosh - 1992 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 22 (4):503-529.

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