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Instrumental Rationality – The Normativity of Means-Ends Coherence - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Instrumental Rationality: The Normativity of Means-Ends Coherence

John Brunero


Rationality requires that we intend the means we believe are necessary for achieving our ends. This book explores several interrelated issues regarding the formulation and status of this requirement of means–ends coherence. I argue that means–ends coherence is a genuine requirement of rationality, and cannot be explained away as a myth, confused with a disjunction of requirements to have, or not have, specific attitudes. But nor, I argue, is means–ends coherence strongly normative in that we always ought to be means–ends coherent. Why is this requirement in place? One popular strategy looks to ... More

Keywords: rationality, means–ends coherence, intentions, reasons, normativity, instrumental rationality

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780198746935
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198746935.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Brunero, author
Robert R. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

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