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Weakness of Will and Practical Irrationality$
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Sarah Stroud and Christine Tappolet

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199257361.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 December 2021

Prudence and the Temporal Structure of Practical Reasons

Prudence and the Temporal Structure of Practical Reasons

(p.230) 9 Prudence and the Temporal Structure of Practical Reasons
Weakness of Will and Practical Irrationality

Duncan MacIntosh

Oxford University Press

According to a Humean present‐aim theory of rationality, there is no rational requirement of prudence: it is not rationally obligatory to act in light of one's foreseen future desires as well as one's current desires. It might therefore seem that on this view the acts of a rational agent could be absurdly incoherent over time. The author rebuts this worry by showing how the present‐aim approach to rationality itself generates rational constraints on the evolution of desires and hence of reasons. More generally, the author argues that reasons, whatever they are, are time‐relative rather than timeless.

Keywords:   coherence, desires, Thomas Nagel present‐aim theory, prudence, rationality, reasons

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