SOPhiA 2021

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Acts of Wisdom
(Epistemology, )

In this paper I attempt to explain the nature of wise actions, where I define wise actions as the set of morally permissible actions performed in order to reach the goals of certain domains. I accomplish this by taking a two-pronged approach. Firstly, I individuate two modal properties relevant for wise actions: (i) counterfactual success: a wise action is a morally permissible action performed for the sake of reaching a goal such that, in all nearby possible worlds, if an agent performs the action in normal circumstances, she succeeds in reaching the goal; (ii) rational robustness: a wise action is a morally permissible action performed for the sake of reaching a goal such that, in all nearby possible worlds, if an agent has sufficient reasons to perform the action, she performs the action. Secondly, I argue that these two modal properties are best explained in terms of two central features of knowledge: (a) safety: if the agent knows that a certain morally permissible action will help her successfully reach a certain goal under normal circumstances (while believing that the circumstances are in fact normal), then in all the nearby possible worlds, her belief that the action will help her successfully reach the goal under normal circumstances is true; (b) stability: the agent's knowledge that the action will help her successfully reach the goal in normal circumstances (plus, the agent's belief that the circumstances are in fact normal) entails that her belief, that the action will help her successfully reach the goal in normal circumstances, is not based on any reason that could easily have been defeated by misleading evidence.

Chair: Simon Graf
Time: 18:10-18:40, 09 September 2021 (Thursday)
Location: HS E.002
Remark: (Online Talk)

Oushinar Nath 
(University College London, )



Testability and Meaning deco