Authors
Wes Siscoe
University of Cologne
Abstract
Against the maximizing conception of practical rationality, Michael Slote has argued that rationality does not always require choosing what is most rational. Instead, it can sometimes be rational to do something that is less-than-fully rational. In this paper, I will argue that maximizers have a ready response to Slote’s position. Roy Sorensen has argued that ‘rational’ is an absolute term, suggesting that it is not possible to be rational without being completely rational. Sorensen’s view is confirmed by the fact that, by the lights of contemporary linguistics, ‘rational’ is an absolute gradable adjective. Because ‘rational’ is an absolute gradable adjective, being rational requires being at the top of the scale of rationality, making anyone who is not fully rational positively irrational. Contra Slote, the only way to be rational enough is to be maximally rational.
Keywords Practical Rationality  Maximizing  Satisficing  Gradable Adjectives  Imprecision  Rational Supererogation
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