Chapter

Imperfect Reasons and Rational Options

Douglas W. Portmore

in Commonsense Consequentialism

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199794539
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919260 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794539.003.0006

Series: Oxford Moral Theory

Imperfect Reasons and Rational Options

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The chapter addresses the worry that if we defend agent-centered options by arguing that non-moral reasons can successfully counter moral reasons and thereby prevent them from generating moral requirements, we end up sacrificing rational options to get moral options. It is argued that we should accept rational securitism and that our doing so allows us to account for rational options. On this view, the rational status of an individual action is a function of its role in some larger, temporally extended plan of action, and that this plan of action is to be evaluated not with respect to whether the agent will be able to perform all the corresponding parts of the plan when the time comes, but with respect to whether, in embarking on the plan now, the agent will be able to secure now that she will, when the time comes, perform all the corresponding parts of the plan.

Keywords: the basic belief; rational options; imperfect reasons; objective rationality; securitism; plans; intentions; procrastination; self-torturer; Joseph Raz; Joshua Gert; Shelly Kagan; Warren Quinn

Chapter.  27048 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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