Authors
Simon Rippon
Central European University
Abstract
I make the observation that English sentences such as “You have reason to take the bus or to take the train” do not have the logical form that they superficially appear to have. I find in these sentences a conjunctive use of “or,” as found in sentences like “You can have milk or lemon in your tea,” which gives you a permission to have milk, and a permission to have lemon, though no permission to have both. I argue that a confusion of genuine disjunctions with sentences of the above form has motivated the mistaken acceptance by some philosophers of principles like the one I call “Liberal Transmission.” This is the principle that if you have a reason to do something, then you have a reason to do it in each of the possible ways in which it can be done (though not more than one of them). I argue that Liberal Transmission and its close relatives are false. Wide-scope reasons are defined as reasons that have a conditional or other logical connective within the scope of the reason operator. For example, a wide-scope instrumental reason might be: reason(if you have an end, take the means). By refuting Liberal Transmission, I show that you could have wide-scope instrumental reasons like this while nevertheless lacking any narrow-scope reason to take the means, or narrow-scope reason to not have the end. This enables me to respond to two major objections to the wide-scope approach to the instrumental principle that have been developed by Joseph Raz and by Niko Kolodny.
Keywords instrumental principle  wide-scope  reasons  rationality  rational requirements  normative recommendings
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Reprint years 2011
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DOI 10.26556/jesp.v5i2.53
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References found in this work BETA

The Myth of Instrumental Rationality.Joseph Raz - 2005 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 1 (1):28.
State or Process Requirements?Niko Kolodny - 2007 - Mind 116 (462):371-385.
Instrumental Rationality: A Reprise.Joseph Raz - 2005 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 1 (1):1-20.
Naturalism and the Normativity of Epistemology.James Maffie - 1990 - Philosophical Studies 59 (3):333 - 349.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Normativity of Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Instrumental Reasons.Niko Kolodny - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford University Press.
Respect and the reality of apparent reasons.Kurt L. Sylvan - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3129-3156.
Instrumental Rationality.John Brunero & Niko Kolodny - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
How Do Reasons Transmit to Non-Necessary Means?Benjamin Kiesewetter & Jan Gertken - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):271-285.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

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