In search of instrumental rationality

Abstract
of (from British Columbia Philosophy Graduate Conference) The accounts of instrumental rationality given in the last twenty years or so are so diverse that one wonders whether they are all attempting to explain the same phenomena. Versions of the so-called �instrumental principle� - what many philosophers have taken to be the core of idea of instrumental rationality - have ranged from being about merely the having or recognition of reasons, to one amounting to a first-order practical principle. I consider a number of these formulations and argue that all of them encounter difficult problems. As a result, not only do we not have a satisfactory account of the nature of instrumental rationality; we also lack a settled set of terms in which to formulate a better theory.
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