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The Many Moral Rationalisms$
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Karen Jones and François Schroeter

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198797074

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198797074.001.0001

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Towards a Trajectory-Dependent Model of (Human) Rational Agency

Towards a Trajectory-Dependent Model of (Human) Rational Agency

(p.264) 13 Towards a Trajectory-Dependent Model of (Human) Rational Agency
The Many Moral Rationalisms

Karen Jones

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the question, “What is the role and authority of conscious deliberation and judgment in human rational agency?” Anti-rationalists claim that the rationalist account of its role and authority is mistaken: conscious deliberation and judgment plays a relatively small part in our practical lives, can be used in the service of rationalizing bullshit, and is not the only or necessarily the most reliable path of access to our reasons. Against the anti-rationalist, the chapter argues that their critique rests on an analogy between the authority of judgment and the authority of an expert, when the rationalist models judgment’s authority on that of a judge. Against the traditional rationalist, the chapter argues the judge model fails. The chapter explores a third model—the monitor model—which, like rationalism, gives our reflective capacities a significant regulatory role, but accommodates the anti-rationalist emphasis on emotion and fast non-deliberative action.

Keywords:   responding to reasons, rationality, reflective judgment, the authority of reason, emotion, habit

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