Moderate Idealization and Information Acquisition Responsibilities

Res Publica 22 (4):445-462 (2016)
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I argue that advocates of moderate epistemic idealization need some standards against which they can determine whether a particular individual P has a responsibility to acquire some specific piece of information α. Such a specification is necessary for the purpose of determining whether a reason R, the recognition of which depends on accounting for α, can legitimately be ascribed to P. To this end, I propose an initial sketch of a criterion that may be helpful in illuminating the conditions in which P might be said to have a responsibility to take α into account when searching for reasons to act or believe. I worry that reason ascriptions that are based on information acquisition expectations which are not captured by this criterion may be open to charges of authoritarianism, especially when such a reason ascription prompts one person to demand that another act in a way that is responsive to the ascribed reason.

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Author's Profile

Jason Tyndal
College of Southern Nevada

References found in this work

Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers 1973–1980.Bernard Williams - 1981 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Internal and External Reasons.Bernard Williams - 1979 - In Ross Harrison (ed.), Rational action: studies in philosophy and social science. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 101-113.
Kinds of Reasons: An Essay in the Philosophy of Action.Maria Alvarez - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Minimal Rationality.Christopher Cherniak - 1986 - MIT Press. Edited by Christopher Cherniak.

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