Reason, Rationality, and Normativity

Joseph Raz

in From Normativity to Responsibility

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199693818
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731907 | DOI:
Reason, Rationality, and Normativity

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Explores the relations between Reason, or rational powers, reasoning and reasons, explaining rationality as the proper functioning of the rational powers. A popular alternative, that normativity consists in the existence of proper relations among a person’s mental states, is rejected. Reasoning, which is but one of the manifestations of our rational powers, is governed by norms that establish that its inherent function or point is to identify and respond to reasons. It is argued that there is no general reason to be rational, and that none is needed. As in the previous chapter, the connection between normativity and value is rejected. A form of constitutive account is endorsed, according to which belief and action with intentions are constitutively subject to the discipline of reasons, and are inherently responsive to them. Therefore responsiveness to reasons is a condition of the capacity for belief and for action with intentions, and is thus constitutive of being a person.

Keywords: rational powers; reasons; reasoning; rationality; normativity

Chapter.  9229 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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