Noûs (forthcoming)

Stephen White
Northwestern University
Are predictions about how one will freely and intentionally behave in the future ever relevant to how one ought to behave? There is good reason to think they are. As imperfect agents, we have responsibilities of self-management, which seem to require that we take account of the predictable ways we’re liable to go wrong. I defend this conclusion against certain objections to the effect that incorporating into one’s practical reasoning predictions concerning one’s voluntary conduct amounts to evading one’s responsibility for that conduct. There is, however, some truth to this sort of objection. To understand the legitimate role of self-prediction in practical reasoning, we need to distinguish instances of coping responsibly with an anticipated failure to behave as one ought, on the one hand, from mere acquiescence in one’s flaws, on the other. I argue that, to draw this distinction, we must recognize certain limits on the use of self-prediction as a ground of choice.
Keywords Self-prediction  Practical reason  Moral imperfection  Actualism  Possibilism  Self-management
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DOI 10.1111/nous.12333
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Why Be Rational.Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.
Normative Requirements.John Broome - 1999 - Ratio 12 (4):398–419.
Oughts, Options, and Actualism.Frank Jackson & Robert Pargetter - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (2):233-255.
Two Faces of Intention.Michael Bratman - 1984 - Philosophical Review 93 (3):375-405.
Why Be Rational&Quest.Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.

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