Rationality, Virtue and Higher‐Order Coherence

Dialectica 72 (3):411-436 (2018)
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Since it is hard to see how subjective rationality could be normative, a humbler, purely evaluative account of rationality’s importance has been suggested: rationality is a non-moral virtue, and rational action is good so far as it reveals that an agent ‘functions well’. This paper argues, however, that even this fallback position is threatened by ‘eccentric billionaire’ scenarios: sometimes, flouting purported coherence standards of rationality is maximally virtuous. In defense of the virtue account, I argue that a novel view of rational constraints is called for: rationality requires a certain form of higher-order coherence – as considerations about instrumental coherence can show.



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Jens Gillessen
University of Marburg

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References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
Why be rational.Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.
The Toxin Puzzle.Gregory S. Kavka - 1983 - Analysis 43 (1):33-36.

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