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The Normativity of Rationality$
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Benjamin Kiesewetter

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198754282

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198754282.001.0001

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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: 18 September 2021

Rationality, Reasons, and Criticism

Rationality, Reasons, and Criticism

(p.24) 2 Rationality, Reasons, and Criticism
The Normativity of Rationality

Benjamin Kiesewetter

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 elucidates why the normative question about rationality is important and why the normativity of rationality is plausible. It presents an argument to the effect that the criticizability of irrationality entails the normativity of rationality (2.1). It goes on to explain and support the main premise of this argument, namely that a person is criticizable only if she violates a decisive reason (2.2). This premise is defended against three possible alternative conceptions of criticism, which hold that criticizability can be grounded in the violation of a subjective ‘ought’ (2.3), in malfunctioning (2.4), or in acting in a less than virtuous way (2.5). The other premise of the argument, that irrationality is criticizable, is subsequently discussed. The main conclusion is that those sceptical about the normativity of rationality are committed to a highly revisionary error theory about ordinary attributions of rationality and irrationality (2.6).

Keywords:   normativity of rationality, criticism, criticizability, reasons, irrationality, subjective ought, rational requirements, malfunctioning, virtue, error theory

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