SOPhiA 2022

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

The Guise of the Reasonable
(Epistemology, English)

Being responsive to reasons requires having a capacity to follow the normative standards that govern what acts and attitudes are permitted in given circumstances. I call this capacity rational agency. Accordingly, an act or attitude is an exercise of rational agency just in case it is based on a reason. This paper addresses two questions about rational agency and its exercises. First, what is the nature of the basing relation, i.e., the relation that holds between a reason R and an act or attitude &_966; for which it is a reason? Second, what is the nature of rational agency itself, i.e., the capacity to think, feel, and act on the basis of a reason?

I argue that all exercises of rational agency are undertakings the agent recognizes as reasonable, and which are guided by that recognition. I call this the Guise of the Reasonable Thesis (GoR). Put otherwise, GoR states that S__s &_966;-ing is based on R if, and only if, S is taking R to be a good reason why she is &_966;-ing. I defend GoR and account for its reflexivity by appealing to the nature of rational agency. In contrast to other capacities, rational agency is a self-conscious capacity whose exercises are partly explained by grounds that are not independent from those exercises, i.e., S__s taking R to be a good reason to &_966; is constitutive of S__s &_966;-ing for R. Finally, I argue that the only representation that can play such a __taking__ role is a form of agential act-awareness.

Time: 14:00-14:30, 09. September 2022 (Friday)
Location: SR 1.003

Cristian Vulpe 
(University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA)

Testability and Meaning deco