Slote on rational dilemmas and rational supererogation

Erkenntnis 46 (1):111-126 (1997)
Joe Mintoff
University of Newcastle, Australia
The so-called optimising conception of rationality includes (amongst other things) the following two claims: (i) that it is irrational to choose an option if you know there is a better one, and (ii) there are no situations in which an agent, through no practical fault of her own, cannot avoid acting irrationally. As part of his ongoing attempt to explain why we need to go beyond the optimising conception, Michael Slote discusses a number of examples in which it seems that (i) and (ii) are inconsistent. According to Slote, these situations seem to involve the existence of rational supererogation (a denial of (i)), or rational dilemmas (a denial of (ii)). The purpose of this paper is to examine Slote''s arguments for these claims, and to propose an alternative solution to the problem he presents.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Ethics   Logic   Ontology
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1005337707418
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