Imperfect reasons and rational options

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Agents often face a choice of what to do. And it seems that, in most of these choice situations, the relevant reasons do not require performing some particular act, but instead permit performing any of numerous act alternatives. This is known as the basic belief. Below, I argue that the best explanation for the basic belief is not that the relevant reasons are incommensurable (Raz) or that their justifying strength exceeds the requiring strength of opposing reasons (Gert), but that they are imperfect reasons-reasons that do not support performing any particular act, but instead support choosing any of the numerous alternatives that would each achieve the same worthy end. In the process, I develop and defend a novel theory of objective rationality, arguing that it is superior to its two most notable rivals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-60
Number of pages37
JournalNous
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012

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Imperfect
Basic Beliefs
Rationality
Rivals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy

Cite this

Imperfect reasons and rational options. / Portmore, Douglas.

In: Nous, Vol. 46, No. 1, 02.2012, p. 24-60.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Portmore, Douglas. / Imperfect reasons and rational options. In: Nous. 2012 ; Vol. 46, No. 1. pp. 24-60.
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