Does the normative question about rationality rest on a mistake?

Synthese 195 (5):2021-2038 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Rationality requires that our mental attitudes exhibit specific patterns of coherence. Do we have reason to comply? 'Prichardian Quietists' regard this question as fundamentally confused: the only reasons to comply with rational requirements are the ones given by the requirements themselves. In this paper, I argue that PQ fails. I proceed by granting that Prichard's own position, from which PQ draws inspiration, is defensible, while identifying three serious problems with the parallel position about rationality. First, as I argue, PQ is not plausibly combined with either the narrow-scope or the wide-scope formulations of rational requirements. Second, PQ implies that the reasons to comply with rational requirements are reasons of the wrong kind. And finally, PQ lacks a crucial component of its explanation, viz. a plausible theory of what constitutes being rationally required to V.

Similar books and articles

Two Accounts of the Normativity of Rationality.Jonathan Way - 2009 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 4 (1):1-9.
Rationality Through Reasoning.John Broome (ed.) - 2013 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Swimming Upstream – Problems for Smith’s Account of the Nature of Reasons.Jeppe Berggreen Høj - 2008 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 15 (3):283-294.
Normative requirements.John Broome - 1999 - Ratio 12 (4):398–419.
Why be rational.Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.
Reasons and Theoretical Rationality.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In Daniel Star (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford University Press.
The groundless normativity of instrumental rationality.Donald C. Hubin - 2001 - Journal of Philosophy 98 (9):445-468.
The normativity of rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2013 - Dissertation, Humboldt University of Berlin


Added to PP

649 (#17,982)

6 months
47 (#45,201)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Yair Levy
Tel Aviv University

Citations of this work

Rationality is not coherence.Nora Heinzelmann - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 999.

Add more citations

References found in this work

On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Rationality Through Reasoning.John Broome (ed.) - 2013 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Intention, plans, and practical reason.Michael Bratman - 1987 - Cambridge: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
The sources of normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Onora O'Neill.
On What Matters: Volume Three.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press UK.

View all 37 references / Add more references