Brute Rationality: Normativity and Human Action (Cambridge by Joshua Gert

By Joshua Gert

Joshua Gert provides a brand new account of normative useful purposes and how within which they give a contribution to the rationality of motion. He argues that, instead of easily "counting in prefer of" motion, normative purposes play logically unique roles--that of requiring motion and that of justifying motion. Gert's ebook will attract more than a few readers attracted to sensible reasoning particularly, and ethical conception extra more often than not.

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32 Practical rationality and justificatory reasons these cases suggest views on which the set of characteristics of an action that make it prima facie required is not the same as the set of characteristics that could justify some action that stood in need of justification. Another sort of case, which leads into the next point, is one in which a person is justified in hurting someone because only by doing so can that person avoid a far greater hurt for himself. One example of this case might be knocking someone unconscious in defense of one’s life from an attack by that very person.

The idea that we have a fixed set of desires, and that it makes sense to try to maximize their satisfaction, is as much of a fiction as the idea that we are only (rationally) motivated by our own interests. The rational options open to an agent are those that would be judged rational if they were chosen. And, for all we can actually know about any particular agent, altruistic sacrifice is always something that could be chosen. It may seem that there are more uncontroversial cases of practical reasons that justify without requiring, even when they are strengthened.

Justification is a matter of making it rationally permissible to do something that, without justification, would be irrational. The arguments below will suggest that some reasons can 12 Again, since this remains true even when we stipulate that the agent is fully informed, this means that such an action is objectively rational. In what follows I will generally omit to point out implications of the sort mentioned here and in the previous note, unless there is some special reason to do so. 23 Brute Rationality justify without in any way tending to make it required to do the action that they justify.

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