Immorality and Irrationality

Philosophical Perspectives 33 (1):220-253 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Does immorality necessarily involve irrationality? The question is often taken to be among the deepest in moral philosophy. But apparently deep questions sometimes admit of deflationary answers. In this case we can make way for a deflationary answer by appealing to dualism about rationality, according to which there are two fundamentally distinct notions of rationality: structural rationality and substantive rationality. I have defended dualism elsewhere. Here, I’ll argue that it allows us to embrace a sensible – I will not say boring – moderate view about the relationship between immorality and irrationality: roughly, that immorality involves substantive irrationality, but not structural irrationality. I defend this moderate view, and argue that many of the arguments for less moderate views turn either on missing the distinction between substantive and structural rationality, or on misconstruing it.

Similar books and articles

Does rationality presuppose irrationality.Xavier Vanmechelen - 1998 - Philosophical Explorations 1 (2):126 – 139.
The Normativity of Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Diachronic Structural Rationality.Luca Ferrero - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (3):311-336.
Incoherence and irrationality.Donald Davidson - 1985 - Dialectica 39 (4):345-54.
Psychoanalysis and human rationality.Sean Sayers - 1991 - Journal of Social Philosophy 22 (2):60-70.
Ulysses and the Sirens: studies in rationality and irrationality.Jon Elster (ed.) - 1979 - Paris: Editions de la Maison des sciences de l'homme.
The normativity of rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2013 - Dissertation, Humboldt University of Berlin
Why Change the Subject? On Collective Epistemic Agency.András Szigeti - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):843-864.
Motivated irrationality.Alfred R. Mele - 2004 - In Alfred R. Mele & Piers Rawling (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Rationality. Oxford University Press.

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-04-30

Downloads
965 (#14,953)

6 months
247 (#10,043)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Morality and Practical Reasons.Douglas W. Portmore - 2021 - Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Add more citations

References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The moral problem.Michael Smith - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell.
Rationality Through Reasoning.John Broome (ed.) - 2013 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Moral realism: a defence.Russ Shafer-Landau - 2003 - New York: Oxford University Press.

View all 69 references / Add more references