Practical Reason

Edited by Sergio Tenenbaum (University of Toronto, Mississauga)
Assistant editors: Parisa Moosavi, Michael Kirley
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  1. Kant’s Reason: The Unity of Reason and the Limits of Comprehension in Kant.Karl Schafer - forthcoming - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Kant's Reason develops a novel interpretation of Kant’s conception of reason and its philosophical significance, focusing on two claims. First, it argues that Kant presents a powerful model for understanding the unity of theoretical and practical reason as two manifestations of a unified capacity for theoretical and practical understanding (or “comprehension”). This model allows us to do justice to the deep commonalities between theoretical and practical rationality, without reducing either to the other. In particular, through it, we see why the (...)
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  2. Facts, Artifacts, and Law-Given Reasons.Noam Gur - 2022 - In Luka Burazin, Kenneth Einar Himma, Corrado Roversi & Paweł Banaś (eds.), The Artifactual Nature of Law. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 199–222.
    This chapter centers around law's capacity to constitute practical reasons. In discussing this theme, consideration is given to law's artifactual character. The discussion falls into two main parts. In Section 1, I critically examine a skeptical line of thought about law's capacity to constitute reasons for action, which draws, in part, on law's artifactuality. I argue for a somewhat less skeptical (but still qualified) stance, according to which the fact that a legal directive has been issued can (notwithstanding the artifactuality (...)
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  3. Nudges, Nudging, and Self-Guidance Under the Influence.W. Jared Parmer - forthcoming - Ergo.
    Nudging works through dispositions to decide with specific heuristics, and has three component parts. A nudge is a feature of an environment that enables such a disposition; a person is nudged when such a disposition is triggered; and a person performs a nudged action when such a disposition manifests in action. This analysis clarifies an autonomy-based worry about nudging as used in public policy or for private profit: that a person’s ability to reason well is undermined when she is nudged. (...)
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  4. Plan B.Sarah K. Paul - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (3):550-564.
    We sometimes strive to achieve difficult goals when our evidence suggests that success is unlikely – not just because it will require strength of will, but because we are targets of prejudice and discrimination or because success will require unusual ability. Optimism about one’s prospects can be useful for persevering in these cases. That said, excessive optimism can be dangerous; when our evidence is unfavourable, we should be at most agnostic about whether we will succeed. This paper explores the nature (...)
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  5. Kant on Autonomy of the Will.Janis David Schaab - forthcoming - In Ben Colburn (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Autonomy.
    Kant takes the idea of autonomy of the will to be his distinctive contribution to moral philosophy. However, this idea is more nuanced and complicated than one might think. In this chapter, I sketch the rough outlines of Kant’s idea of autonomy of the will while also highlighting contentious exegetical issues that give rise to various possible interpretations. I tentatively defend four basic claims. First, autonomy primarily features in Kant’s account of moral agency, as the condition of the possibility of (...)
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  6. Kantian Constructivism and the Sources of Normativity.Janis David Schaab - 2022 - Kant Yearbook 14 (1):97-120.
    While it is uncontroversial that Kantian constructivism has implications for normative ethics, its status as a metaethical view has been contested. In this article, I provide a characterisation of metaethical Kantian constructivism that withstands these criticisms. I start by offering a partial defence of Sharon Street’s practical standpoint characterisation. However, I argue that this characterisation, as presented by Street, is ultimately incomplete because it fails to demonstrate that the claims of Kantian constructivism constitute a distinctive contribution to metaethics. I then (...)
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  7. Review of Tamar Schapiro 'Feeling Like It'. [REVIEW]Juan S. Piñeros Glasscock - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    Review of Tamar Schapiro, 'Feeling Like It'.
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  8. Guard Against Temptation: Intrapersonal Team Reasoning and the Role of Intentions in Exercising Willpower.Natalie Gold - 2022 - Noûs 56 (3):554-569.
    Sometimes we make a decision about an action we will undertake later and form an intention, but our judgment of what it is best to do undergoes a temporary shift when the time for action comes round. What makes it rational not to give in to temptation? Many contemporary solutions privilege diachronic rationality; in some “rational non-reconsideration” (RNR) accounts once the agent forms an intention, it is rational not to reconsider. This leads to other puzzles: how can someone be motivated (...)
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  9. Mechanizmy predykcyjne i ich normatywność [Predictive mechanisms and their normativity].Michał Piekarski - 2020 - Warszawa, Polska: Liberi Libri.
    The aim of this study is to justify the belief that there are biological normative mechanisms that fulfill non-trivial causal roles in the explanations (as formulated by researchers) of actions and behaviors present in specific systems. One example of such mechanisms is the predictive mechanisms described and explained by predictive processing (hereinafter PP), which (1) guide actions and (2) shape causal transitions between states that have specific content and fulfillment conditions (e.g. mental states). Therefore, I am guided by a specific (...)
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  10. Indecision and Buridan’s Principle.Daniel Coren - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-18.
    The problem known as Buridan’s Ass says that a hungry donkey equipoised between two identical bales of hay will starve to death. Indecision kills the ass. Some philosophers worry about human analogs. Computer scientists since the 1960s have known about the computer versions of such cases. From what Leslie Lamport calls ‘Buridan’s Principle’—a discrete decision based on a continuous range of input-values cannot be made in a bounded time—it follows that the possibilities for human analogs of Buridan’s Ass are far (...)
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  11. Having the Meaning of Life in View.Ulf Hlobil - forthcoming - In Christian Kietzmann (ed.), Teleological Structures in Human Life: Essays for Anselm W. Müller. New York: Routledge.
    The paper aims to clarify the role of the meaning of life in Anselm Müller’s philosophy. Müller says that the ethically good life is the life of acting well, and acting well requires at least a rough conception of the meaning of life, or a conception of what makes a life go well. But why is such a conception required and what does it mean to have such a conception? I argue that such a conception cannot provide us with ultimate (...)
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  12. Action and Production.Stephen White - 2022 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 22 (2):271-294.
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  13. Controlling Our Reasons.Sophie Keeling - 2022 - Noûs.
    Philosophical discussion on control has largely centred around control over our actions and beliefs. Yet this overlooks the question of whether we also have control over the reasons for which we act and believe. To date, the overriding assumption appears to be that we do not, and with seemingly good reason. We cannot choose to act for a reason and acting-for-a-reason is not itself something we do. While some have challenged this in the case of reasons for action, these claims (...)
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  14. A Higher-Order Approach to Diachronic Continence.Catherine Rioux - forthcoming - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy.
    We often form intentions to resist anticipated future temptations. But when confronted with the temptations our resolutions were designed to withstand, we tend to revise our previous evaluative judgments and conclude that we should now succumb – only to then revert to our initial evaluations, once temptation has subsided. Some evaluative judgments made under the sway of temptation are mistaken. But not all of them are. When the belief that one should now succumb is a proper response to relevant considerations (...)
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  15. Book Review: Reasons First (By Mark Schroeder). [REVIEW]Theptawee Chokvasin - 2021 - Suranaree Journal of Social Science 15:136-138.
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  16. Can We Outsource All the Reasons?Hrishikesh Joshi - 2022 - Philosophical Studies (12):1-16.
    Where does normativity come from? Or alternatively, in virtue of what do facts about what an agent has reason to do obtain? On one class of views, reason facts obtain in virtue of agents’ motivations. It might seem like a truism that at least some of our reasons depend on what we desire or care about. However, some philosophers, notably Derek Parfit, have convincingly argued that no reasons are grounded in this way. Typically, this latter, externalist view of reasons has (...)
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  17. Belief in robust temporal passage (probably) does not explain future-bias.Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller, Christian Tarsney & Hannah Tierney - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (6):2053-2075.
    Empirical work has lately confirmed what many philosophers have taken to be true: people are ‘biased toward the future’. All else being equal, we usually prefer to have positive experiences in the future, and negative experiences in the past. According to one hypothesis, the temporal metaphysics hypothesis, future-bias is explained either by our beliefs about temporal metaphysics—the temporal belief hypothesis—or alternatively by our temporal phenomenology—the temporal phenomenology hypothesis. We empirically investigate a particular version of the temporal belief hypothesis according to (...)
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  18. Determinism and the Problem of Individual Freedom in Li Zehou’s Thought.Andrew Lambert - 2018 - In Li Zehou and Confucian Philosophy. Honolulu, HI, USA: pp. 94-117.
    Li Zehou’s work can be understood as an account of a Chinese modernity, a vision for Chinese society that seeks to integrate three distinct philosophical approaches. These are Chinese history and culture, which Li understands as largely Confucian; Marxism, which has exerted such influence on a modernizing China; and Western learning more generally, as expressed by figures such as Immanuel Kant and Sigmund Freud. Li also frequently expresses the hope that a Chinese modernity will be one in which the importance (...)
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  19. Suppose and Tell: The Semantics and Heuristics of Conditionals: Timothy Williamson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020. Viii + 278 Pp. £30.00. ISBN 978-0-19-886066-2.Dorothy Edgington - 2021 - History and Philosophy of Logic 43 (2):188-195.
    Conditional judgements—judgements employing ‘if’—are essential to practical reasoning about what to do, as well as to much reasoning about what is the case. We handle them well enough from an early...
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  20. Actual Control - Demodalising Free Will.David Heering - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Leeds
    Plausibly, agents act freely iff their actions are responses to reasons. But what sort of relationship between reason and action is required for the action to count as a response? The overwhelmingly dominant answer to this question is modalist. It holds that responses are actions that share a modally robust or secure relationship with the relevant reasons. This thesis offers a new alternative answer. It argues that responses are actions that can be explained by reasons in the right way. This (...)
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  21. Critique of Alien Reason: Toward a Critical Interplanetary Humanities.Joshua Schuster - 2022 - Substance 51 (1):103-119.
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  22. Reason and Respect.Kenneth Walden - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 15.
    This chapter develops and defends an account of reason: to reason is to scrutinize one’s attitudes by consulting the perspectives of other persons. The principal attraction of this account is its ability to vindicate the unique of authority of reason. The chapter argues that this conception entails that reasoning is a robustly social endeavor—that it is, in the first instance, something we do with other people. It is further argued that such social endeavors presuppose mutual respect on the part of (...)
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  23. Kantian Constructivism.Julia Markovits & Kenneth Walden - 2021 - In Ruth Chang & Kurt Sylvan (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Practical Reason. New York:
    Theories of reasons and other normativia can seem to lead ineluctably to a tragic dilemma. They can be personal but parochial if they locate reasons in features of the point of view of actual people. Or they can be objective but alien if they take reasons to be mind-independent fixtures of the universe. Kantian constructivism tries to offer the best of both worlds: an account of normative authority anchored in the evaluative perspectives of actual agents but refined by a procedure (...)
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  24. Recognition, Good Life, and Good World.Armando Manchisi - 2021 - Itinerari 60:219-236.
    The aim of this paper is to provide a philosophical analysis of the relationship between self-realization and social recognition on the basis of a view that I characterize as “pragmatist.” According to this view, an individual realizes herself to the extent that she acts for the sake of establishing rational and dynamic interactions with her natural and social environment. Focusing on the social sphere, I show that we can interpret such interactions as relations of mutual recognition between an individual, who (...)
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  25. Practical Conditionals.Matthew Bedke - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Ethics.
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  26. Knowledge and Belief: Comparative Approach.Seniye Tilev - 2022 - Beytulhikme An International Journal of Philosophy 12 (1):91-106.
    In this paper, I discuss the legitimacy of using the term “to know” in morality and I develop an approach based on Kantian morality. In my analysis, I take the notion “to know” in the sense that Timothy Williamson does. That is to say, I regard it in opposition to the perspectives that claim “knowledge is jus-tified true belief”. Therefore, in the first part, I briefly introduce “knowledge first epistemology”. In the second part, I build a perspective pointing to the (...)
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  27. La valoración como eslabón de enlace entre el conocimiento y la práctica.José Ramón Fabelo Corzo - 1987 - Problemas Actuales de la Filosofía Marxista-Leninista 1 (1):19-27.
    Los nexos de la valoración con la actividad práctica de los seres humanos son muchos y variados. La práctica constituye el fundamento de la actividad valorativa, provee a esta de sentido y dirección, actúa en calidad de objetivo último de todo proceso valorativo. Al mismo tiempo, la valoración constituye la expresión directa en la conciencia de la determinación práctica de la reproducción subjetiva de la realidad objetiva y del carácter activo de esta apropiación. De ella en gran medida depende la (...)
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  28. Norm and Ideal: Kant’s Postulates of Practical Reason and Their Heideggerian Reconceptualization.Irene McMullin - 2020 - In Matt Burch & Irene McMullin (eds.), Transcending Reason: Heidegger on Rationality. New York, NY, USA: pp. 187-210.
    The received view of Martin Heidegger’s work is that he leaves little room for reason in the practice of philosophy or the conduct of life. Citing his much-scorned remark that reason is the “stiff-necked adversary of thought”, critics argue that Heidegger’s philosophy effectively severs the tie between reason and normativity, leaving anyone who adheres to his position without recourse to justifying reasons for their beliefs and actions. Transcending Reason is a collection of essays by leading Heidegger scholars that challenges this (...)
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  29. Nothing Personal: On the Limits of the Impersonal Temperament in Ethics.Nicholas Smyth - 2022 - Journal of Value Inquiry 56 (1):67-83.
    David Benatar has argued both for anti-natalism and for a certain pessimism about life's meaning. In this paper, I propose that these positions are expressions of a deeply impersonal philosophical temperament. This is not a problem on its own; we all have our philosophical instincts. The problem is that this particular temperament, I argue, leads Benatar astray, since it prevents him from answering a question that any moral philosopher must answer. This is the question of rational authority, which requires the (...)
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  30. Explaining Free Will by Rational Abilities.Frank Hofmann - 2022 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 25 (2):283-297.
    In this paper I present an account of the rational abilities that make our decisions free. Following the lead of new dispositionalists, a leeway account of free decisions is developed, and the rational abilities that ground our abilities to decide otherwise are described in detail. A main result will be that the best account of the relevant rational abilities makes them two-way abilities: abilities to decide to do or not to do x in accordance with one’s apparent reasons. Dispositionalism about (...)
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  31. Refitting the mirrors: on structural analogies in epistemology and action theory.Lisa Miracchi & J. Adam Carter - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-28.
    Structural analogies connect Williamson’s epistemology and action theory: for example, action is the direction-of-fit mirror image of knowledge, and knowledge stands to belief as action stands to intention. These structural analogies, for Williamson, are meant to illuminate more generally how ‘mirrors’ reversing direction of fit should be understood as connecting the spectrum of our cognitive and practically oriented mental states. This paper has two central aims, one negative and the other positive. The negative aim is to highlight some intractable problems (...)
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  32. Thus Spoke Pushpa.Venkata Rayudu Posina - manuscript
    There is a lesson from the woods--Bollywood, Kollywood, Mollywood, and Tollywood--of make-believe, which speaks to the core concern of science: the practice of science. Puspha, an Indian movie that brought the movie industry to its senses, with its global popularity has this to say: Be thyself; keep it real. Situated in a remote region aeons apart from the vast concrete and intimate plastic world we are familiar with, the happenings in the distanct and alien universe of discourse--a hamlet adjacent to (...)
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  33. Time for Caution.Johanna Thoma - 2022 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 50 (1):50-89.
    Precautionary principles are frequently appealed to both in public policy and in discussions of individual decision-making. They prescribe omission or reduction of an activity, or taking precautionary measures whenever potential harmful effects of the activity surpass some threshold of likelihood and severity. One crucial appeal of precautionary principles has been that they seem to help guard against procrastinating on confronting certain kinds of risk. I raise a challenge for precautionary principles serving as effective action-guiding tools to guard against (policy) inaction, (...)
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  34. Practical Reasoning and the Act of Naming Reality.Fabrizio Macagno - 2018 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 286:393-404.
    In the tradition stemming from Aristotle through Aquinas, rational decision making is seen as a complex structure of distinct phases in which reasoning and will are interconnected. Intention, deliberation, and decision are regarded as the fundamental steps of the decision-making process, in which an end is chosen, the means are specified, and a decision to act is made. Based on this Aristotelian theoretical background, we show how the decision-making process can be modeled as a net of several patterns of reasoning, (...)
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  35. The Black Box in Stoic Axiology.Michael Vazquez - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    The ‘black box’ in Stoic axiology refers to the mysterious connection between the input of Stoic deliberation (reasons generated by the value of indifferents) and the output (appropriate actions). In this paper, I peer into the black box by drawing an analogy between Stoic and Kantian axiology. The value and disvalue of indifferents is intrinsic, but conditional. An extrinsic condition on the value of a token indifferent is that one's selection of that indifferent is sanctioned by context-relative ethical principles. The (...)
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  36. Actions of Trust and Their Cognitive Motivation.Christian Carbonell - 2021 - Undergraduate Philosophy Journal of Australasia 3:19-35.
    In this paper I offer a systematic account of actions of trust and inquire into their cognitive motivation. I first develop the distinction and relationship between attitudes and actions of trust, and then assess Paul Faulkner's thesis that the Humean model cannot explain the cognitive motivation of some actions of trust under circumstances of uncertainty. While I will accept his diagnosis, I will contend that a weaker version of the Humean model could provide this explanation. My proposal will be an (...)
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  37. Cultivating Moral Attention: a Virtue-Oriented Approach to Responsible Data Science in Healthcare.Emanuele Ratti & Mark Graves - 2021 - Philosophy and Technology 34 (4):1819-1846.
    In the past few years, the ethical ramifications of AI technologies have been at the center of intense debates. Considerable attention has been devoted to understanding how a morally responsible practice of data science can be promoted and which values have to shape it. In this context, ethics and moral responsibility have been mainly conceptualized as compliance to widely shared principles. However, several scholars have highlighted the limitations of such a principled approach. Drawing from microethics and the virtue theory tradition, (...)
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  38. Hacia un diario de la razón: Licofrón y la ontología para bachilleres.Pedro Redondo Reyes - 2021 - Isegoría 65:15-15.
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  39. Kants Begriff transzendentaler und praktischer Freiheit. [REVIEW]Jochen Bojanowski - 2009 - Kant Studien 101:401-407.
  40. New Essays on Kant's Critique of Practical Reason. [REVIEW]Jochen Bojanowski - 2015 - Studi Kantiani 27:139-158.
  41. Sensualidad y erotismo. Una mirada desde Georges Bataille y Nicolás Gómez Dávila.Carlos Andrés Gómez Rodas - 2013 - Quid 20 (20):55-62.
    Three years before the publication of L'Erotisme of George Bataille (1957), the bogotanian thinkerNicolas Gomez Davila, at instances of his brother, published his first work with the succinct and modest title ofNotes (1954). Two different philosophical traditions meet in the study of the same topic, showing that flesh, skin,sensuality, pleasure and other related themes connect each other with all dimensions of human life, and that no onereflect, in an honest and serious way about it, may relegate them or hide them (...)
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  42. The Conceptual Foundation of Morality.Gal Yehezkel - 2021 - Springer.
    This book offers a solution to the ancient philosophical problem regarding the nature and the justification of morality. The importance of this subject matter is obvious, not merely as an abstract philosophical problem, but perhaps even more as a practical challenge, regarding the way we ought to live our lives: the values that ought to direct us, and the ends that we ought to pursue. -/- In the course of this inquiry, a wide array of philosophical topics is explored: the (...)
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  43. Knowing Fallibly and It's Epistemic and Non-Epistemic Implications: Fallibilism Revisited.Chrysogonus M. Okwenna - 2021 - Igwebuike: An African Journal of Arts and Humanities 7 (3):73-90.
    This paper revisits the epistemological doctrine of fallibilism and discusses its overarching consequences to the whole structure of human knowledge and its extended applications. Fallibilism claims that we can never have absolute certainty to justify our knowledge claims. That means, knowledge needs not have an absolute, definitive warrants. Consequently, using the discursive method of enquiry, the paper argues that, if fallibilism is true, then, the concept of knowledge is redefined. Hence, knowledge would no longer mean the preclusion of error but (...)
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  44. Presumption and Leibniz’s Metaphysics of Action.Andreas Blank - 2015 - In Adrian Nita (ed.), Leibniz’s Metaphysics and Adoption of Substantial Form. Dordrecht, Netherlands: pp. 89-106.
  45. The Virtue of Receptivity and Practical Rationality.Seisuke Hayakawa - 2015 - In Chienkuo Mi, Michael Slote & Ernest Sosa (eds.), Moral and Intellectual Virtues in Western and Chinese Philosophy: The Turn toward Virtue. New York: Routledge. pp. 235-251.
    In this chapter, I attempt to provide a richer account of reflective agency than standard theorists do, by focusing on the deep connection between the role of empathic receptivity and that of reflection. In From Enlightenment to Receptivity, Michael Slote innovatively introduces the idea of receptivity as a virtue into the domains of epistemology and ethics, and argues that the virtue of receptivity plays a crucial role in the realization of a good life (2013). In contrast, I incorporate receptivity as (...)
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  46. Consensus Building and Its Epistemic Conditions.Michael H. G. Hoffmann - 2021 - Topoi 40 (5):1173-1186.
    Most of the epistemological debate on disagreement tries to develop standards that describe which actions or beliefs would be rational under specific circumstances in a controversy. To build things on a firm foundation, much work starts from certain idealizations—for example the assumption that parties in a disagreement share all the evidence that is relevant and are equal with regard to their abilities and dispositions. This contribution, by contrast, focuses on a different question and takes a different route. The question is: (...)
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  47. Modeling Descriptive and Deontic Cognition as Two Modes of Relation Between Mind and World.Preston Stovall - 2022 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (1):156-185.
    I use a distinction between single-minded and indifferent choice attitudes, modeled across maximally determinate plans of action, as a basis for interpreting deontic claims – about what ought, ought not, and may be done – as expressing a mode of relation between mind and world that gives voice to the exercise of practical rationality. At the same time, I use maximally determinate possible worlds to model descriptive claims in order to understand them as involving a mode of relation between mind (...)
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  48. The Metaphysics of Practical Rationality: Intentional and Deontic Cognition.Preston Stovall - 2021 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (4):549-568.
    Despite growing appreciation in recent decades of the importance of shared intentional mental states as a foundation for everything from divergences in primate evolution, to the institution of communal norms, to trends in the development of modernity as a socio-political phenomenon, we lack an adequate understanding of the relationship between individual and shared intentionality. At the same time, it is widely appreciated that deontic reasoning concerning what ought, may, and ought not be done is, like reasoning about our intentions, an (...)
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  49. Is There a Human Right to Subsistence Goods?Cristián Rettig - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Research 46:243-260.
    The much-discussed “claimability objection” holds that it is unjustified to believe that all individuals have a human right to subsistence because the bearers of the correlative duties are not sufficiently determined. This argument is based on the so-called “claimability-condition”: S has a right to P if and only if the duty-bearer is sufficiently determined. Practice-based theorists defend the human right to subsistence by arguing that if we take the existing human rights practice seriously, there is no indeterminacy about the allocation (...)
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  50. Sergio Tenenbaum, Rational Powers in Action: Instrumental Rationality and Extended Agency. [REVIEW]Nathan Robert Howard - 2021 - Ethics 132 (1):280-286.
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