Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (5):943-955 (2017)

Authors
Teemu Toppinen
University of Helsinki
Abstract
I explore the prospects of capturing and explaining, within a non-cognitivist framework, the enkratic principle of rationality, according to which rationality requires of N that, if N believes that she herself ought to perform an action, φ, N intends to φ. Capturing this principle involves making sense of both the possibility and irrationality of akrasia – of failing to intend in accordance with one’s ought thought. In the first section, I argue that the existing non-cognitivist treatments of enkrasia/akrasia by Allan Gibbard and Michael Ridge are not satisfying. In the second section, I propose that non-cognitivists should perhaps say roughly the following: to think that one ought to φ is to prefer φ-ing to the alternative courses of action, or to have a stronger desire to φ than to choose any alternative action. I outline an account of the strength of desire, which allows for the possibility of intending to act against one’s strongest desires, and makes it intelligible why rationality would nevertheless require that one’s strongest desires and intentions be aligned. This would allow the non-cognitivist to explain how akrasia is both possible and irrational. In the last section, I briefly suggest that this leaves non-cognitivists in a nice position in comparison to at least some of the competition, when it comes to capturing enkrasia.
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-017-9819-9
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Being Realistic About Reasons.T. M. Scanlon - 2014 - Oxford University Press.

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How Verbal Reports of Desire May Mislead.Alex Gregory - 2017 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (4):241-249.

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