Practical reasons
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By In Action Theory, Ideas, Metaethics, Practical Rationality, Practical reasons, Reasons and rationality, Value Theory Comments (4)

Decisive Reasons and Rational Supererogation

I have a roughly formulated and half-baked inquiry:

Suppose that rationality endorses maximizing utility, but there is room for rational supererogation, and so it is sometimes rationally permissible to drink a coffee even if doing so does not maximize utility.

Would you say that there is no decisive reason against drinking the coffee because, although drinking the coffee is rationally inferior to another available option, it is still rationally permissible?  Or would you say that, because drinking the coffee is rationally inferior to another available option, there is decisive reason against drinking the coffee even though drinking it is rationally permissible?

I am attracted to a usage of decisive reason according to which the consideration that C pinpoints a decisive reason against A’s X-ing if and only if, because C, A should not X.  Given this usage, there is no decisive reason against drinking the coffee (from the point of view of rationality) because, although drinking the coffee is rationally inferior to another available option, drinking the coffee is still rationally permissible and so it is not true that one should not drink the coffee.  I wonder if folks would balk at this implication and see usages with this implication as thereby counter-intuitive.

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By In Call For Papers, News and Events, Practical Rationality Comments Off on SLACRR 2016: Call for abstracts

SLACRR 2016: Call for abstracts

SLACRR: May 22-24, 2016 

Keynote Speaker: 
Paul Boghossian (NYU)

St. Louis Annual Conference on Reasons and Rationality provides a forum for new work on practical and theoretical reason, broadly construed. Please submit an anonymized abstract of 750-1500 words by January 15, 2016 to SLACRR@gmail.com. In writing your abstract, please bear in mind that full papers should be suitable for a 30 minute presentation. Please attach your abstract as a pdf file, the name of which should be based upon the title of your abstract.  (In other words, don't name your file FILE.pdf or ABSTRACT.pdf)

What to Submit

SLACRR includes papers in ethics, epistemology, and other areas of philosophy that deal with reasons, reasoning, or rationality. For instance, we would be interested in papers exploring such questions as:

  • What is the relation between reasons for actions and reasons for beliefs?
  • What are the sources of our reasons for belief?
  • How are features of one's psychology relevant to reasons? 
  • What is the relation between reasons and what we ought to do or believe?
  • What is the relation between reasons and value?
  • Are the requirements of practical and theoretical rationality normative? 
  • What is the relation between individual rationality and collective rationality?
  • Are actions or beliefs themselves structured by reasons?

Of course, this is just a small sample of questions. Further questions can also be directed to Eric WilandJulia StaffelKathryn Lindeman, or to SLACRR@gmail.com

 

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By In Call For Papers, Metaethics, Moral Psychology, News and Events, Practical Rationality Comments (1)

Conference/CFP: Practical Reason and Metaethics

The Department of Philosophy at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln is hosting a conference on Practical Reason and Metaethics to be held April 22-23, 2016.  The invited speakers on the conference program are:

  • Michael Bratman  (Stanford)
  • Stephen Darwall  (Yale)
  • Sarah McGrath  (Princeton)
  • Sigrún Svavarsdóttir  (Tufts)

Call for Papers: Four additional papers will be selected though an anonymous review of submissions.  For each paper selected, the conference will contribute up to $800 to cover the travel and accommodations of the authors. Submissions are due December 1, 2015. More info below the fold.

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By In Discussions, Metaethics, Moral Psychology, Normative Ethics, Practical Rationality, Value Theory Comments (2)

Regret

Consider the question “Can regret be appropriate even apart from any belief that one’s choice was misguided or irrational if a monistic theory of the good is true?”  According to the relevant notion of regret, regretting is to be understood, roughly, as mourning the loss of a forgone good.  This notion of regret leaves room for the possibility that there may be cases of rational regret that do not involve the agent seeing her prior choice as in some way misguided.  It is commonly held that this can easily occur when there is a plurality of distinct kinds of goods at stake.  More controversial is the suggestion (which can be found in Hurka’s work) that this can also easily occur when there is only one distinct kind of good at stake.  According to Hurka (“Monism, Pluralism, and Rational Regret”), goods with different “intrinsic properties” can be distinct “in the way that matters for rational regret” without being goods of distinct kinds, and so monistic theories of the good can accommodate “rational regret” as well as pluralistic theories.  But it might be, and indeed has been, argued (by, in particular, Stocker (Plural and Conflicting Values)) that, insofar as different intrinsic properties can be distinct in the way that matters for rational regret, we can think of the different properties as tied to different values, and so we do not have a case of rational ‘monistic’ regret.  And here we seem to reach a stalemate grounded in what seems to be something like a terminological issue, namely whether to count a theory of the good that takes say, pleasure, as the only good as monistic, if it also allows for distinct kinds of pleasure that make room for rational regret.  I am trying to develop a position that gets beyond this stalemate, but am now wondering whether my characterization of stalemate seems fair or if there is a better interpretation of the dynamic of the debate that makes the dispute seem more substantial.  

 

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By In Practical Rationality Comments Off on Call for Abstracts: SLACRR 6

Call for Abstracts: SLACRR 6

Call for Abstracts: SLACRR 6

I'm pleased to announce a call for abstracts for the next St. Louis Conference on Reasons and Rationality, sponsored by UMSL, Washington University, and Saint Louis University. Many PEA Soupers have participated the past five years.

May 17 – 19, 2015

Keynote Speaker:

Pamela Hieronymi (UCLA)

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By In Practical Rationality Comments (25)

JESP Discussions at PEA Soup: Daniel Whiting’s “Keep Things in Perspective: Reasons, Rationality and the A Priori” with a Critical Précis from Errol Lord

My apologies for the slight delay – we thought it would be nice to give some extra time for Nomy Arpaly's wonderful post about moral concerns and praiseworthiness (and I hope that the discussion of that post will still continue). In any case, I'm delighted that we can now start our first Journal of Ethics & Social Philosophy discussion. It will be on Daniel Whiting's (Southampton) brilliant paper "Keep Things in Perspective: Reasons, Rationality and the a Priori". To kick things off, here's Errol Lord's (Franklin & Marshall College/University of Pennsylvania) equally helpful critical intro to Daniel's paper.

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By In Practical Rationality Comments Off on SLACRR 2014 Program

SLACRR 2014 Program

Below is the program for the next SLACRR.  You can learn more and register at the website.  

I hope to see you in St. Louis this May!

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