Instrumental Reasoning Reconsidered

European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 4 (1):59-76 (2008)
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Abstract

Since Aristotle it has been common among philosophers to distinguish between two fundamental types of reasoning, theoretical and practical. We do not only want to work out what is the case but also what we ought to do. This article offers a logical analysis of instrumental reasoning, which is the paradigm of practical reasoning. In the first section I discuss the major types of instrumental reasoning and show why the accounts of most authors are defective. On the basis of this discussion, I demonstrate in the second section that different types of normative conclusions are derivable from instrumental arguments and I show that it is an argument’s logical structure that determines what type of conclusion this is.

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References found in this work

Normative requirements.John Broome - 1999 - Ratio 12 (4):398–419.
The Normativity of Instrumental Reason.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1997 - In Garrett Cullity & Berys Nigel Gaut (eds.), Ethics and practical reason. New York: Oxford University Press.
Practical reasoning.John Broome - 2002 - In José Luis Bermúdez & Alan Millar (eds.), Reason and Nature: Essays in the Theory of Rationality. Oxford University Press. pp. 85--111.
Normative practical reasoning: John Broome.John Broome - 2001 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 75 (1):175–193.
The Hypothetical Imperative.Thomas E. Hill - 1973 - Philosophical Review 82 (4):429-450.

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