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Normativity and Rationality

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Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2182-2875
First Published
16 Apr 2017
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 2 (2007): Issue 23 (November 2007)
Normativity and Rationality

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2182-2875
First Published
16 Apr 2017
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English

Search

6 Articles
Open Access

Introduction

Published Online: 31 Dec 2018
Page range: 153 - 160

Abstract

Open Access

Is Rationality Normative?

Published Online: 31 Dec 2018
Page range: 161 - 178

Abstract

Abstract

Rationality requires various things of you. For example, it requires you not to have contradictory beliefs, and to intend what you believe is a necessary means to an end that you intend. Suppose rationality requires you to F. Does this fact constitute a reason for you to F? Does it even follow from this fact that you have a reason to F? I examine these questions and reach a sceptical conclusion about them. I can find no satisfactory argument to show that either has the answer ‘yes’. I consider the idea that rationality is normative for instrumental reasons, because it helps you to achieve some of the things you ought to achieve. I also consider the idea that rationality consists in responding correctly to reasons. I reject both.

Open Access

Belief and normativity

Published Online: 31 Dec 2018
Page range: 179 - 203

Abstract

Abstract

The thesis that mental content is normative is ambiguous and has many forms. This article deals only with the thesis that normativity is connected to our mental attitudes rather than with the content of the attitudes, and more specifically with the view that it is connected to belief. A number of writers have proposed various versions of a ‘norm of truth’ attached to belief. I examine various versions of this claim, and defend it against recent criticisms according to which this norm lacks normative force, that it violates the principle that ‘ought implies can,’ and that it is viciously circular. I defend the view that we should distinguish the statement of the objective norm and the way it is regulated, and that this distinction can answer most of the criticisms of the norm of truth for belief.

Open Access

Intentionality, Knowledge and Formal Objects

Published Online: 31 Dec 2018
Page range: 205 - 228

Abstract

Abstract

What is the relation between the intentionality of states and attitudes which can miss their mark, such as belief and desire, and the intentionality of acts, states and attitudes which cannot miss their mark, such as the different types of knowledge and simple seeing? Two theories of the first type of intentionality, the theory of correctness conditions and the theory of satisfaction conditions, are compared. It is argued that knowledge always involves knowledge of formal objects such as facts and values, that emotions are reactions to (apparently) known values and that beliefs are reactions to known or apparently known facts or to the objects of relational states.

Open Access

Acting Without Reasons

Published Online: 31 Dec 2018
Page range: 229 - 246

Abstract

Abstract

In this paper, I want to challenge some common assumptions in contemporary theories of practical rationality and intentional action. If I am right, the fact that our intentions can be rationalised is widely misunderstood. Normally, it is taken for granted that the role of rationalisations is to show the reasons that the agent had to make up her mind. I will argue against this. I do not object to the idea that acting intentionally is, at least normally, acting for reasons, but I will propose a teleological reading of the expression ‘for reasons.’ On this reading, it is quite possible to act for reasons without having reasons to act. In a similar way, paradigmatic cases of cogent practical reasoning do not require the transference of justification from the premises to the practical conclusion.

Open Access

What is Normativity?

Published Online: 31 Dec 2018
Page range: 247 - 269

Abstract

Abstract

The thesis that the concept of a reason is the fundamental normative concept is in the air. In this paper, I examine what it amounts to, how to formulate it, and how ambitious it should be. I distinguish a semantic version, according to which any normative predicate is definitionally reducible to a reason predicate, and a conceptual version, according to which the sole normative ingredient in any normative concept is the concept of a reason. Although I reject the semantic version, I examine its potential in some detail. And I claim that the conceptual version is plausible.

6 Articles
Open Access

Introduction

Published Online: 31 Dec 2018
Page range: 153 - 160

Abstract

Open Access

Is Rationality Normative?

Published Online: 31 Dec 2018
Page range: 161 - 178

Abstract

Abstract

Rationality requires various things of you. For example, it requires you not to have contradictory beliefs, and to intend what you believe is a necessary means to an end that you intend. Suppose rationality requires you to F. Does this fact constitute a reason for you to F? Does it even follow from this fact that you have a reason to F? I examine these questions and reach a sceptical conclusion about them. I can find no satisfactory argument to show that either has the answer ‘yes’. I consider the idea that rationality is normative for instrumental reasons, because it helps you to achieve some of the things you ought to achieve. I also consider the idea that rationality consists in responding correctly to reasons. I reject both.

Open Access

Belief and normativity

Published Online: 31 Dec 2018
Page range: 179 - 203

Abstract

Abstract

The thesis that mental content is normative is ambiguous and has many forms. This article deals only with the thesis that normativity is connected to our mental attitudes rather than with the content of the attitudes, and more specifically with the view that it is connected to belief. A number of writers have proposed various versions of a ‘norm of truth’ attached to belief. I examine various versions of this claim, and defend it against recent criticisms according to which this norm lacks normative force, that it violates the principle that ‘ought implies can,’ and that it is viciously circular. I defend the view that we should distinguish the statement of the objective norm and the way it is regulated, and that this distinction can answer most of the criticisms of the norm of truth for belief.

Open Access

Intentionality, Knowledge and Formal Objects

Published Online: 31 Dec 2018
Page range: 205 - 228

Abstract

Abstract

What is the relation between the intentionality of states and attitudes which can miss their mark, such as belief and desire, and the intentionality of acts, states and attitudes which cannot miss their mark, such as the different types of knowledge and simple seeing? Two theories of the first type of intentionality, the theory of correctness conditions and the theory of satisfaction conditions, are compared. It is argued that knowledge always involves knowledge of formal objects such as facts and values, that emotions are reactions to (apparently) known values and that beliefs are reactions to known or apparently known facts or to the objects of relational states.

Open Access

Acting Without Reasons

Published Online: 31 Dec 2018
Page range: 229 - 246

Abstract

Abstract

In this paper, I want to challenge some common assumptions in contemporary theories of practical rationality and intentional action. If I am right, the fact that our intentions can be rationalised is widely misunderstood. Normally, it is taken for granted that the role of rationalisations is to show the reasons that the agent had to make up her mind. I will argue against this. I do not object to the idea that acting intentionally is, at least normally, acting for reasons, but I will propose a teleological reading of the expression ‘for reasons.’ On this reading, it is quite possible to act for reasons without having reasons to act. In a similar way, paradigmatic cases of cogent practical reasoning do not require the transference of justification from the premises to the practical conclusion.

Open Access

What is Normativity?

Published Online: 31 Dec 2018
Page range: 247 - 269

Abstract

Abstract

The thesis that the concept of a reason is the fundamental normative concept is in the air. In this paper, I examine what it amounts to, how to formulate it, and how ambitious it should be. I distinguish a semantic version, according to which any normative predicate is definitionally reducible to a reason predicate, and a conceptual version, according to which the sole normative ingredient in any normative concept is the concept of a reason. Although I reject the semantic version, I examine its potential in some detail. And I claim that the conceptual version is plausible.

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