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Metaethics after Moore$
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Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199269914

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199269914.001.0001

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Evaluations of Rationality

Evaluations of Rationality

(p.61) 3 Evaluations of Rationality *
Metaethics after Moore

Sigrún Svavarsdóttir

Oxford University Press

This chapter works from the guiding idea that rationality is the excellence of a rational agent qua rational, and goes on to defend a neo-Humean conception of evaluations of theoretical and practical rationality, according to which such evaluations make essential reference to an agent's ends or goals in assessing the rationality of the agent's beliefs, actions, and intentions. Evaluations of theoretical and practical rationality differ according to the types of goals relative to which we make evaluations of rationality. This view is defended appealing to intuitions about irrationality with respect to particular cases, which are best explained by the neo-Humean; a defence which is neutral with regard to metaphysical issues about the nature of reasons. This defence is admittedly partial because it does not fully address questions about the justificatory force of rationality evaluations, leaving important tasks for the neo-Humean to tackle.

Keywords:   practical rationality, theoretical rationality, Hume, evaluations of rationality, rational agent, beliefs, actions, intentions, intuitions

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