Diachronic Incontinence is a Problem in Moral Philosophy


Authors
Sarah Paul
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Abstract
Is there a rational requirement enjoining continence over time in the intentions one has formed, such that anyone going in for a certain form of agency has standing reason to conform to such a requirement? This paper suggests that there is not. I argue that Michael Bratman’s defense of such a requirement succeeds in showing that many agents have a reason favoring default intention continence much of the time, but does not establish that all planning agents have such a reason in every case of intending. I then defend an account on which such a reason is grounded in the need to maintain the capacity to commit oneself to a practical option. But although I think this applies more widely than Bratman’s account, it is also not a reason that any planning agent has in every case. I tentatively conclude that although we have many good reasons to stick with our intentions once we have formed them, it is not required by rationality.
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DOI 10.1080/0020174X.2014.894273
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References found in this work BETA

Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason.Michael Bratman - 1987 - Center for the Study of Language and Information.
Morals by Agreement.David Gauthier - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Willing, Wanting, Waiting.Richard Holton - 2009 - Oxford University Press UK.
Reasons Without Rationalism.Kieran Setiya - 2007 - Princeton University Press.
Time, Rationality and Self-Governance.Michael E. Bratman - 2012 - Philosophical Issues 22 (1):73-88.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Grit.Sarah Paul & Jennifer Morton - 2018 - Ethics 129 (2):175-203.
Diachronic Structural Rationality.Luca Ferrero - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (3):311-336.
The Subjective Authority of Intention.Lilian O’Brien - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (275):354-373.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

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