St. Louis Annual Conference on Reasons and Rationality provides a forum for new work on practical and theoretical reason, broadly construed. Please submit an anonymized abstract of 750-1500 words by January 15, 2016 to SLACRR@gmail.com. In writing your abstract, please bear in mind that full papers should be suitable for a 30 minute presentation. Please attach your abstract as a pdf file, the name of which should be based upon the title of your abstract. (In other words, don't name your file FILE.pdf or ABSTRACT.pdf)
What to Submit
SLACRR includes papers in ethics, epistemology, and other areas of philosophy that deal with reasons, reasoning, or rationality. For instance, we would be interested in papers exploring such questions as:
What is the relation between reasons for actions and reasons for beliefs?
What are the sources of our reasons for belief?
How are features of one's psychology relevant to reasons?
What is the relation between reasons and what we ought to do or believe?
What is the relation between reasons and value?
Are the requirements of practical and theoretical rationality normative?
What is the relation between individual rationality and collective rationality?
Are actions or beliefs themselves structured by reasons?
The Department of Philosophy at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln is hosting a conference on Practical Reason and Metaethics to be held April 22-23, 2016. The invited speakers on the conference program are:
Michael Bratman (Stanford)
Stephen Darwall (Yale)
Sarah McGrath (Princeton)
Sigrún Svavarsdóttir (Tufts)
Call for Papers: Four additional papers will be selected though an anonymous review of submissions. For each paper selected, the conference will contribute up to $800 to cover the travel and accommodations of the authors. Submissions are due December 1, 2015. More info below the fold.
Many philosophers seem to think that – even if the notions of a belief’s being “justified” or “rational” are indeed normative notions, as is widely held to be the case – to say that a belief is “justified” is “rational” is to say something stronger than merely that the belief is permissible.
This is a mistake. It is easy to prove that if the notions of a belief’s being “justified” or “rational” are normative at all, then the permissibility of a belief is sufficient for the belief’s being justified or rational.
Consider the question “Can regret be appropriate even apart from any belief that one’s choice was misguided or irrational if a monistic theory of the good is true?” According to the relevant notion of regret, regretting is to be understood, roughly, as mourning the loss of a forgone good. This notion of regret leaves room for the possibility that there may be cases of rational regret that do not involve the agent seeing her prior choice as in some way misguided. It is commonly held that this can easily occur when there is a plurality of distinct kinds of goods at stake. More controversial is the suggestion (which can be found in Hurka’s work) that this can also easily occur when there is only one distinct kind of good at stake. According to Hurka (“Monism, Pluralism, and Rational Regret”), goods with different “intrinsic properties” can be distinct “in the way that matters for rational regret” without being goods of distinct kinds, and so monistic theories of the good can accommodate “rational regret” as well as pluralistic theories. But it might be, and indeed has been, argued (by, in particular, Stocker (Plural and Conflicting Values)) that, insofar as different intrinsic properties can be distinct in the way that matters for rational regret, we can think of the different properties as tied to different values, and so we do not have a case of rational ‘monistic’ regret. And here we seem to reach a stalemate grounded in what seems to be something like a terminological issue, namely whether to count a theory of the good that takes say, pleasure, as the only good as monistic, if it also allows for distinct kinds of pleasure that make room for rational regret. I am trying to develop a position that gets beyond this stalemate, but am now wondering whether my characterization of stalemate seems fair or if there is a better interpretation of the dynamic of the debate that makes the dispute seem more substantial.
I'm pleased to announce a call for abstracts for the next St. Louis Conference on Reasons and Rationality, sponsored by UMSL, Washington University, and Saint Louis University. Many PEA Soupers have participated the past five years.
This post will be difficult to write as I’ll have to reign in my frustrations (I was thinking of calling this ‘Must Do Better’ or ‘All Souls Night, Part II’…). I’ve been reading Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek’s and Peter Singer’s The Point of View of the Universe – Sidgwick & Contemporary Ethics. Chapter 2 (sections 2–4) of this book contains a ‘Parfit-inspired’ criticism of expressivism and Blackburn, which I find quite upsetting. It makes me feel sad for Simon Blackburn (he really must get tired of objections like this) and it also makes me wonder about OUP’s editorial processes (I don’t see how this section could pass a peer-reviewed journal). In any case, here I want to start from a very basic distinction and then go through quickly some of the fairly outrageous claims de Lazari-Radek and Singer make about expressivism.
I'm really enjoying Scanlon's new book "Being Realistic About Reasons" (all citations below to this book), but I'm stumbling on the part about pure normative truths and the explanation of supervenience. Any help would be much appreciated.
According to a common view, the difference between the “right” kind of reasons that support the distinctive rationality of belief, intention, or other attitudes, and the “wrong” kind of reasons that do not, is that the former are “object-given” reasons while the latter are “state-given” reasons. As I shall argue here, this view is false: it is open to some simple counterexamples.
In this post, I shall explain why the reason that explains why it is irrational to believe Moore-paradoxical propositions (like the proposition that you might express by uttering a first-person present-tensed sentence of the form ‘p and I don’t believe that p’) is a state-given reason, even though it is a reason of “the right kind”. (In a later post, I shall explain why our reasons not to have intentions that would frustrate their own realization are similarly “state-given”.)