Logical Varieties of Instrumental Reasons

Etica E Politica 14 (2):197-213 (2012)

Abstract
Instrumental reasons play a central role in our practical deliberations because we apply the distinction between reasonable and unreasonable not only to beliefs, but to actions also. The question of what one has an instrumental reason to do is an important substantive question that is relevant to the general theory of practical reasoning and to ethics, too. It will be my object in the present study to show that we have different kinds of instrumental reasons, which depend solely on their logical structure. To this end, I shall in the first section deal with the validity of instrumental reasoning in general. In the remainder of the paper I outline five types of instrumental reasons and show how they depend on their logical structure. In so doing, I hope to shed some light on the concept of instrumental reasons, which is not well understood
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