Thursday, January 8, 2009

Reasons and rationality (again)

Suppose I believe I ought to A straightaway but don't form the intention to A or A in accordance with any intention. I just sit there. It seems:
(1) I'm irrational in a way I oughtn't be.
(2) Either (a) I oughtn't refrain from A-ing if I believe I ought to A or (b) I oughtn't both: believe that I ought to A and refrain from A-ing.
(3) For various reasons, (a) can be ruled out.
(4) If (b), there is an undefeated reason for me to avoid believing I ought to A and not intending to A.
(5) If (4), reasons that speak against A-ing speak against believing that I ought to A.
(6) If (4), reasons that favor believing that I ought to A thereby favor intending to A and A-ing accordingly.
(7) (b) is true.
(8) The reasons that bear on whether to A bear on whether to judge that you ought to A (and vice-versa).

Obviously (3) needs to be cashed out. (I've done this before in commenting on van Roojen's paper on conditionals and detachment at RoME.) As for (2), either the wide- or narrow-scope principle is going to capture the judgment that (1) is true. What about (4)? That seems to follow from the general idea that 'oughtn't A' entails 'There is a reason not to A' and 'The reason not to A is undefeated by reasons to the contrary'. I don't know if Broome denies this, but I can't see why he would. But, then (5) and (6) look pretty good.

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