Against Cognitivism about Practical Rationality Author(s): John Brunero Reviewed work(s): Source: Philosophical Studies: An International Journal

for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition, Vol. 146, No. 3 (Dec., 2009), pp. 311-325 Published by: Springer Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40542373 . Accessed: 01/03/2013 12:52
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argue they rationality. beliefs. J.MO. approach practical to the it bearsno relation or simply Practical (though "Cognitivism" Rationality".Brunero (El) St.forthcoming-a. rationality" requirements 1 This in ofCognitivism versions whohas criticized was coinedbyMichaelBratman. involved those theoretical the how second. of to explain(apparent) two attempts requirements by Cognitivists considering succeed. oftheoretical ments First. them of neither that I and argue rationality practical • • Cognitivism • Theoretical rationality rationality Keywords Practical • • • • Instrumental Belief Intention ConsistencySetiya rationality on theway and belief.edu £l Springer This content downloaded on Fri. 1999. Louis.Forhis critiques forthcoming-b. here in refers term this which (I viewto meta-ethics). ofpractical Setiya.theyshow governing requirements thoseintentions beliefscan explainsome of thepractical governing requirements theoretical are these showhow requirements actually practical (or they apparently and how whether about the avoids This paper controversy ongoing requirements). of intention forhis influential presented thecourseof arguing Theory Planning see Bratman of Cognitivism. intention between on therelationship Reflection specifically that to some led has involves intention in which belief. University e-mail:bruneroj@umsl. recently philosophers think of some to theoretical to we can appeal requirements apparent rationality explain about as known be to come has This "Cognitivism rationality.1007/sl about PracticalRationality AgainstCognitivism John Brunero 2008 online:2 August Published Media B. 2008 Science+Business © Springer we can explainsome aboutPractical Abstract Cognitivists arguethat Rationality to therequireof of the(apparent) by appealing requirements practicalrationality involve intentions that and. usageoftheterm in Bratman and agency. USA of Missouri.PhilosStud(2009) 146:311-325 1098-008-9267-4 DOI 10. faces significant whereI think Cognitivism approach.V. 1987.1 say "apparent traditionally likeKieran becausesomeCognitivists. of the this second on instead focuses and beliefs involve intentions Cognitivist part I proceedby difficulties. 1 Mar 2013 12:52:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .

See also Davidson2001. Jay 2 See Setiya2007a. Harman1976. 37-38 and Holton2008. First. As we'll see below. including Michael Bratman.§52. Second.since these are the two requirementsto which "the instrumental principle") have the most attention so far. Ö Springer This content downloaded on Fri.7 intending In lightof thiscontroversy. 48-56. 21.pp. 6 See Setiya2007a. especially pp. 7 See Bratman 1987. p.butone couldalso believethat one's beliefs.Velleman to 2007.5 to x witha And othershave identified an intention belief of this sort. 1986.which we could call the "Weak Belief Thesis. Cognitivistsdiffer on the details of the explanation theyprovide. such as the instrumental are actually theoreticalratherthan practical. and Richard Holton. great controversy. have argued that the instrumental of rationality which is explained by principleis a genuinelypractical requirement to theoretical To cover all such views.4 Some Thesis have argued of the Belief believing proponents Strong thatthe belief here is self-referential: that one will to x involves intending believing x because of thatveryintention.arefallible. R.432-433 thorough response objection and also Anscombe 1963. principle. 1976. pp.self-referential the Strong Belief Thesis. pp. defend some thesis about the which intention Cognitivists way defend the view that to x involves Perhaps they believing thatone will jc.It is no objection Hampshire the Strong Belief Thesis thatwe are well aware of the possibility thatwe might not carry out our intentions becauseof someinterference or becausewe might to thethesis.D.Brunero have argued thatsome rationalrequirements thatare oftensupposed to be practical. Grice 1971. 4 See and Hart1958. pp. 663-664 and 2007b: PartI." according to which intendingto jc involves believing that jc is possible.)In this paper. who has recentlyargued that to x involves neitherfull belief nor even partial belief thatone will jc. havespaceto consider someinteresting to agency andpractical reason. we'll be concerned with two (apparent) of practicalrationality in particular: the requirement to have consistent requirements intentions and the requirement to be means-ends coherent(also sometimescalled . According tox involves one willjc. and J. 671-673 and Wallace 2001. intending or the view thatintendingto jc involves believing thatit is possible to x. this intending believing including Fora more tothis see especially Harman one. Velleman unnuhiisheri. thatintending to x involves that one will jc.pp. sometimescalled the "Strong Belief Thesis".2 to some to theoretical Cognitivistsappeal rationality explain apparentrequirements of practical rationality.312 J. 3 This focuson Cognitivism aboutrequirements andwillnot paperwillnarrowly ofpractical rationality. 91-96. 1 Mar 2013 12:52:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .3 Cognitivists paid The Cognitivistapproach to practical rationality divides into two parts.like R. while other Cognitivists. we'll say that appealing rationality. changeourminds. philosophershave defended the view. J. 1986. Cognitivist approaches including theimnortant arguments in Broomeforthcomine. who has presented some famous counterexamplesto it.6Yet otherphilosophershave rejected desire-like. There has been a great deal of attention paid to the first part of the Cognitivist and a deal of A number of approach. 5 See Harman 1976. which of theoreticalrationality Cognitivistsargue that some of the requirements those involved beliefs as and closure (such govern consistency requirements) of practicalrationality explain some of the (apparent)requirements governingthose intentions. some Cognitivistshave made use of a weaker thesis about how intention involves belief. in involves belief. Wallace.

4-6 and Bratman 9 MichaelBratman theconsistency theWeakBeliefThesiscannot. disagreement explain them. 1 below. with what you believe. formulate any such this in of lines the will affect paper. Suppose requirement to y x is possibleand intending that to jc involves theWeak BeliefThesiscontends. y. theStrong to workfrom it woulddo better on intentions.pp. So.) endscoherence. Forcritical ofWallace's view. forthcoming-a: £l Springer This content downloaded on Fri. not think I do but I mention of therequirements rationality here. abandoning your travel will not this to travel if afternoon. forthe purposes of thispaper.aboutPractical Rationality Against Cognitivism 3 13 account of means-endscoherence Wallace.at least in the ways thathave been proposed. intentions state: irrational in an are.I'll argue that the requirementsof theoreticalrationality cannot. or the requirement to have consistentintentions the how Before considering Cognitivistexplanations would go.forinstance. "a conjunction as Bratman notes.has developed a Cognitivist Thesis. to inconsistent it is on intentions.AnappealtotheStrong problem success. to travel if and believe that you you will not travel Prague thisafternoon. since.(Bratman is considered account See Bratman §4. intention afternoon. specifically. presented argument disagreement Let's firstconsider some requirementsof practical rationality. you Prague abandoningyourbeliefthat you to New York this afternoon (thoughyourabandoningthisbelief may be prohibited Since thereare threeways to of theoretical rationality). outthat has pointed explain byitselt.8 While the Weak Belief Thesis is certainly the Weak Belief from working doubts have been raised about whetherit is strong less controversial. if an accountof Cognitivism forthcoming-a: Such an BeliefThesis instead. There is. given are You to New York thisafternoon.explain eitherthe requirement to be means-endscoherent. BeliefThesiscan avoidthis toy. afternoon. believing tox and intend to intend criticizable forwhyitis rationally Butnowwe haveno explanation is possible. of practicalrationality governing (apparent)requirements the of with this difficulties are there that in this paper Cognitivist part significant approach. 1 Mar 2013 12:52:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . believing intending that x andy thebelief does notsupport beliefs these theconjunction that involves y is possible. we should first thatCognitivistsseek of practicalrationality introducethe (apparent) requirements that they use to theoretical of the as to explain. your remove could You one another. inconsistent yourselffrom to to travel intention Prague this this irrationalstate by either abandoning your or by this York New to to travel afternoon.significant . as well rationality requirements to precisely how about some of course.Suppose you and intend to travel to New York this intend to travel to Prague this afternoon. We'll focus instead on the second part of the Cognitivist approach: the claim that the requirementsof theoretical rationality whichgovernthose involved beliefs about whatone will do can explain some of the I'll argue those intentions. as if it's true Even to intend and to jc intend that. We'll just assume.thatthe intentions Strong Belief Thesis is true. Brunero discussion §3 and §4. requirement ofmeansofWallace's account a critique also provides in Sect. by some otherrequirement the irrational state.9 about whetherand how of this paper is to sidestep the controversy The strategy involve beliefs. forinstance. forthcoming-a: 2005.doubtshave enough to do the workthatit mustdo forthe Cognitivist on been raised about whetherone could account for the consistencyrequirement that would need Thesis the Weak Belief intentions Cognitivists suggesting using to appeal instead to the more controversial StrongBelief Thesis.see Raz 2005." See Bratman a beliefin conjunctive does support of beliefsin thesuccessof each intention of the consistency is to providean explanation §3. remove yourself from this requirementto have consistent 8 See Wallace2001 andWallace2006.

according to which. and believes if one will jc. See Kolodny. Our formulation foresee ME takes thisintoaccount by limiting the applicabilityof ME to cases in which one believes thattheformation of an intention to y is necessaryforjc-ing. or not to intendat / to Y).suppose I believe I will travel to Prague only if I make use of a mode of transportation thatemits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A requirement of means-endscoherence requiresthatyou eitherforman intention to buy the airlineticket.See. 12 Note thatwhile IC requires of you. thenone does not K). Brunero intentions is usually understoodas a "wide-scope"10 requirement in thatthe scope of "requires" does not attachto a specificattitude. £l Springer This content downloaded on Fri. or abandon your intention to y.You are in an irrational state: you do not intendto do what you believe to be a necessary means for carryingout your intention. but you don't intendto buy an airline ticket. Suppose you intendto travel to and you believe thatto do so you mustbuy an airline ticket. or abandon to jc. or not to intendat t to X. I've done so because we are not to form the intentions to do whateverwe believe is a necessary rationallyrequired conditionfor carryingout an intention to jc. then one will y" in formulating ME. thenone will intendto y.11 it requires IC does not require thatyou abandon some specific attitude.Surely I am not rationallyrequiredto intendto make use of a mode of transportation that emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.rather. But ME does require him to intendto buy an airlineticketsince (we are supposing) he believes he mustform this 10 See Broome 1999. your intention Practical rationality also requires thatwe be instrumentally rational. Kolodny' s Simple IntentionConsistency(C). that we be means-ends coherent. 1 Mar 2013 12:52:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and believes thatif one will x thenone will not v. Since theagent in our example does not believe thathisformationof an intention to make use of a mode of transportation is necessaryfortraveling to Prague. or abandon yourintention to travelto Prague this We afternoon or abandon yourbelief thatto do so you mustbuy an airlineticket. thenone not intendto v]. For instance.Broome 2007 defends.against objections from are wide-scope requirements. "one is rationallyrequired(eithernot to believe at t (that if one X's. as it is sometimes put. Note thatI've used "if one will jc. thenone will intendto y" instead of "if one will jc.12 could formulate this as a wide-scope requirement: Means-Ends Coherence (ME): Rationalityrequiresthat [if one intendsto jc. merelythatyou not intendnot to buy an airline ticket (or revise one of the other relevantattitudes). Kolodny 2005. the view that all requirementsof rationality 1' A more complete specificationof the requirement would include temporalmarkers.314 J.or. thenone intendto y]. carbon-dioxide-emitting ME does not require him to formsuch an intention.means-ends coherence requires thatyou intendto buy an airline ticket(or revise one of the other relevant attitudes). for instance. in this case. 2007 on wide-scope requirements. forthcoming. Prague this afternoon. does not that we intendto bringabout the side effectsthatwe Rationality require will come about as a result of of otherintentions we have. thatyou eitherabandon yourbelief thatif you will x thenyou will not v. but ranges over a disjunctionof attitudes: IntentionConsistency (IC): Rationalityrequires that [if one intends to jc.

Supposeyoubelievethat set of beliefs that You have a the streets are that also believe but dry. twoCognitivist I proceed In thispaper. You couldcometo comply any to not havinginconsistent in thisset. p^-^q.665-666. /7->->^. p-+-^q. wide-scoperequirements. 1. to believe or controversy might ->q. rationality. affect argument rationality of theoretical likethe somerequirements Let's nowconsider which. In addition beliefs. epistemic explains. by abandoning but over some be There CL. resolve have to would account an such that difficulties showsomeofthe and intention 1 Beliefconsistency consistency a we couldprovide itseemsthat then Belief oftheStrong thetruth Thesis. jc. ofthese neither that ME. someone y. us tocometobelievethelogicalconsequences by requires that[if one believesp. Strong BC explains 2. beliefs one of the with BC byrevising violates BC. formyargument does notmatter Setiya'sCognitivism against 13 See £i Springer This content downloaded on Fri. beliefs: the hold Belief the of truth the Thesis. IC. andbetter. thestreets are not and thatif it's raining. then of CL someonein violation CL is a wide-scope Like theothers. again of theoretical another that CL (alongwith and argues Thesisto be true requirement Itis ofcourse work. requirement.that Someonewhoviolates on beliefs. explanations. (3) I willy. (2) If I willjc. formulate But. it hereforthesake of argument. are of above. in is sinceCL employed Setiya's Cognitivism. of these requirements of again. oftheconsistency terms requirement to intends and will not he then will if he that believes to whointends jc. be other. following Strong y-will. 1 Mar 2013 12:52:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and believes requires BeliefClosure(CL): Rationality one believe->q]. below. coming we'll considered of version below. to account is a better there that paperwill hope yet Cognitivist possible or avoid. I do not suspectthatthe preciseformulation to will the lines of follow." is "the he "You has which.I will noty.aboutPractical Rationality Against Cognitivism 315 Now there in order to travel to Prague. you dry. assuming (1) I willx. requirements practicalrationality is thewide-scope there requirement: that andbelieves [ifone believes/?.pp.Thereis one minor This difference 'should'. should". that the belief that belief the with it could comply abandoning /?. First. Ifwe grant in intentions on the of rather consistency requirement explanation straightforward IC . by considering that and true to be Thesis Belief the takes which an account I consider argues Strong Belief the takes which account an 1 consider In Sect. is. I argue explanations explains rationality) I this come.theoretical rationality as required ofourbeliefs. has "Rationality where difference: myformulation Setiya2007a. Setiya's requires". intention might waysto ME thattakeintoaccountthisproblem of necessary side effects.13 grant In Sect. (BC): Rationality requires BeliefConsistency then one notbelieveq'. it's raining.

attempt The thesisthatbelievingone will x is sufficient forintending to x is vulnerableto some obvious counterexamples. would constitute a way of to intend to and so would constitute a of with x. or by ceasing way complying to believe would constitute a of (3).Surely I do not intendto go to the gangster'shideout.Specifically. and (b) this fact generates a problem for this to use BC to explain IC.likewise. which would also be a way of complying with /C. But problems forthe above attempt to use BC to explain IC arise fromthe factthatbelieving one will x is not sufficient forintending to x. even if one's belief is true. which. I want to suggest here thatmattersare not so simple. and so would constitute a way of complyingwithIC. if you know you're going to give it up eventually. But here's the problem for Cognitivism: we want to be able to say that if such an individual (someone who intends to x and does not intend to y) were to form the intentionto y some additional (withoutchanging any other attitudes)he would be introducing 14 15 A slight variation on an example fromBratman 1981. I've varied the example slightlyfor stylisticreasons. p.why not information But surelyit is possible forsomeone to be just give it up now and avoid the torture? irrational in this way. Anscombe 1963. In short. but in fact I have no intention of fighting them. then it is possible for one to have inconsistentbeliefs about what one will do without having inconsistentintentions. p.Suppose a gangsteris now kidnappingme and I come to believe thatI will go to the gangster'shideout. or by ceasing to believe (1). 94.) to use BC to explain ICI Well. Perhaps one merelyintendsto x and does not intendto y. one's belief could be false. 1 Mar 2013 12:52:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .afterall.even thoughI believe I will. 255. Brunero And these beliefs violate BC. Consider the example fromAnscombe of the individual who believes that he'll give up some after but does not now intendto piece of information being tortured by thegangsters now intends not the information. But this does not seem true either. it is possible for one to believe (1). /C.once we grant the truthof the Strong Belief Thesis. Ö Springer This content downloaded on Fri. Perhaps I am led by wishful to believe thatI'll (intentionally) and escape fromthe gangsterswho thinking fight are holding me hostage. it seems quite easy to account for the on intentions in termsof the consistencyrequirement on consistencyrequirement the "involved" beliefs about what one will do. believingthatone will x is necessaryforintending to x. I'll argue here that(a) believing one will x is not sufficient for intendingto x. Second. So. According to the Strong Belief Thesis.it doesn't follow thatone now intendsto x. (2) and (3) without it being the case that one intends to x and intends to y. Firstof all. such an individual is in irrational not now (Perhaps intendingto give up the . which. ceasing way ceasing to intend to y.14We could circumvent this and similar counterexamples by instead claiming that believing one will x is sufficient for intendingto x.accordingto the StrongBelief Thesis. what does this have to do with the attempt if it is possible for one to believe one will x withoutintendingto jc. One could come to comply withBC by ceasing to believe (2).15 He believes he will give up the (and to) give up information but does not now intend to intentionally give up the information. intentionally fortwo reasons.316 J.

17 Anscombe 1963.the Cognitivistseeks to explain why intentions quite generally are subject to are subject to it. the problem with coming to have inconsistentintentionsis that in doing so one beliefs about whatone will do. then one believes one will not deny Jesus. (2) would violate a requirement of rationality. (2) to y (without intention the avoid should one thisotherconflict forming explains why could be. forwhy thereis an explanation in termsof theoreticalrationality of practical rationality. According to thatthesis.Against Cognitivism about Practical Rationality 317 . Peter should here inconsistent intentions. .that is. Rationalityprohibitshim from formingthe intentionto y (withoutchanging any otherattitudes).16 We could illustrate the difficultywith another example borrowed from Anscombe: St. avoid having inconsistent How mighta Cognitivistreply to this objection? Perhaps the Cognitivistcould to y (withoutchanging any otherattitudes)would the intention argue thatforming . will because that one involves to beliefs: intending y of y believing self-referential believes thathe will For example. whereas St.he St. conflict this other what see to is hard But it changingany otherattitudes). thatrequirement this is so. But the so involves coming to have inconsistent beliefs about what he will do. But St. individual in our example already has inconsistent beliefs about what he will And so the need to avoid coming to have inconsistent do cannot explain why he should avoid having inconsistentintentionsin this case! Some other explanation is needed.17Assume the StrongBelief Thesis is true. So. specifically 1C. 94. has inconsistent introduce he would not to his intention deny Jesus. according to the Cognitivistaccount. See not merelywhy a certainsubset of intentions of practicalrationality. £l Springer This content downloaded on Fri.But to provide an adequate Cognitivistexplanation for any single requirement makes applicable the Cognitivistmust show how in every case in which an intention practical rationality. and this as intentions well. Peter believes that he will deny Jesus three times (based on the of a highlyreliable predictor:Jesus himself) and yet he intendsnot to testimony deny Jesus. but he doesn't know how he will (since he's simply trustingthe 16 It is truethat in theoreticalterms. 1 Mar 2013 12:52:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . paragraph 3.withoutabandoning of attitudes. some introducesome other conflictprohibitedby theoreticalrationality need to avoid the and and of (3)conflictotherthanthe conflict believing (1). Now. thatrequirement Bratman forthcoming-a: §2.specifically. beliefs about what one will do. Peteralready has comes to have inconsistent inconsistentbeliefs about what he will do. an additional conflict But.in addition to the theoreticalconflict into his attitudes irrationality and beliefs between (3). And so the need to avoid having beliefs about what he will do cannot explain why St. As many advocates of the Strong point out.They Cognitivists need not explain the whole of practical rationality of some to (such as IC and their of the extend rationality practical requirements Cognitivism scope may of ME) but not to others. As Bratmannotes. again. p. a involve would to an intention of change in y Perhaps it's truethatthe formation involve intentions Thesis Belief belief. beliefs. he would now be coming to have inconsistent (1).if one intends not to deny Jesus. deny Jesus. Peterbelieves he will notdenyJesusand he believes thathe will denyJesus to intention additional form an were to Peter if St. Peter currently that veryintention.But how can the Cognitivistexplain why this is so? For the intentions is thatdoing the problem with coming to have inconsistent Cognitivist. deny Christ.

more radical. Perhaps thereis another. Ô Springer This content downloaded on Fri. Peter for to rational. Of course.but thereis no additional theoretical irrationality involved in my coming to believe in the additional piece of evidence. 1 Mar 2013 12:52:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Peter's forming the intentionwould further entrench(by providinga second sufficient reason) a for belief involved in the theoreticalconflict. of a highlyreliable predictor) were he to forman intention testimony he would believe that he will deny Christ because he intendsto deny Christ. Brunero to denyChrist. The the intention to deny Cognitivistcould argue thatwe thinkthatSt. and this explains why it is irrational him to come to intendto deny Christ. It is clear that here intendingto y (withoutchanging any other attitudes) would introducea violation of IC where therewas no violationof IC before. to say that intendingto y does not introducea second. at the same time." If the IdentityThesis is correct.But thatchange in beliefdoes not It's truethatthere introduceany new conflictprohibited by theoreticalrationality. (2) and (3) comes to intendto y. it simply provides an explanation where generated by thatwould be conflict therewas none before. thereis nothingirrational about my coming to believe in some additional piece of evidence that provides a sufficientreason for believing ->p.the belief which is part of the reason for his belief that he will deny Christ theoreticalconflict.So.but there is no additional theoreticalconflict and that he will not deny Christ the self-referential belief.then a conflict between inconsistentintentionsjust is a conflict between inconsistent beliefsabout whatone will do. form this should not be St.18 Call this the "IdentityThesis. Cognitivist explanation why.St. he does not introducea second conflictof attitudesat all. The replyis a radical one since it would requirethatwe revise our understanding of IC. according to this reply.p and ->p. when someone who intendsto x and believes (1). So.But if thereis no additionaltheoretical cannot then we his an intention to presenta generated by forming deny Christ. intention. distinctconflictof attitudes 18 David Vellemanhas defended a view alongtheselinesin his PracticalReflection buthe has since distanced himself from that view. He would have an explanationhe did nothave before. (2) from this theoreticalconflict. There is only one conflictof attitudesthroughout: the conflictin and is no There further conflict of attitudes (3). distinguishable believing (1). Peter's forming sufficient a second Christ is irrationalbecause his formingthe intention provides .But this reply will not work for the simple reason that there is nothingirrationalabout coming to have a second sufficient reason for a belief thatis involved in a theoreticalconflict. . And so. just is a belief about what one Perhaps the Cognitivistcould claim thatan intention will do.318 J. line of replyavailable to the Cognitivist. I'm irrational insofaras I continueto believe.His believing thathe will deny Christ is now overdetermined by reasons: the fact that he intends to deny Christ and the fact that a highly reasons for him to reliable predictor said he would do so are both sufficient believe that he will deny Christ. Peterbelieves thathe will deny Christ remainsthe originaltheoretical conflict .If I believe p and ->/?. xix-xx. St. pp.See Velleman 2007. Perhaps there is another line of reply available to the Cognitivist.

provides himwith no reason to believethat he willnotdo it. according explanation one violatessomerequirement. scoperequirement one willX. then explanation of thenone has a set of beliefssuch thatsome narrow-scope inconsistent requirement intentions.vismaboutPractical Rationality Against Cogniti 319 IC. 1 Mar 2013 12:52:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . then attempt. fact by being Peter would that St. Andso this ofrationality. consideration byitself provides be is there because there could other considerations itself" The qualification "by he will to also be a reasonforhimto believethat that allow forthisconsideration .for out Davidson.he argues. of intention consistency requirement ifwe accept that I havebeenarguing ofPractical Consistency".19 we can reject theradical Thesisis ButI think reply quiteeasilysincetheIdentity ."20 Consider for one loyalty believing to with a reason to intend not but this a virtue St. Butlet's now outlined theCognitivist we should above. forthcoming paper"The Myth Kolodny's IC.then at t to X. reject an IC needto provide thosewho reject IC. that one to x with believing intending identify with inconsistent intentions a conflict between we cannot that Itfollows identify so it is clear that do. and (because he is explanation Kolodnygoes on to present a non-Cognitivist in theCognitivist BeliefThesispresupposed abouttheStrong explanation) skeptical becauseoftheproblem butfind theformer thelatter inadequate (§3). supposewe followKolodny ifone to which"If one believesat t (that Intuition oftheViolation alternative (V). one does ifoneX's. somerequirement wouldviolate explanation Cognitivist 20 Davidson 2001. X's. (1). andintends notY)."if one has inconsistent intentions. As Kolodny in rejecting notes. theoretical oftheoretical somenarrow-scope suchthat has a setof beliefs whathe willdo. Peter denyChrist. reliable that a highly denyChrist provides predicted predictor butthisconsideration a reason to believehe willdenyChrist with St." at t to Y. intending his between the conflict certain intending wayof resolving a of of a certain in favor itself way resolving (2) without counting by believing in and is challenged is controversial. or reason that sufficient either one believeswithout to Y. explanation to Kolodny's above. Peterknowshe is reliably notdo it is a reasonto intend to act that theconsideration true Butit is nonetheless byitself will so act. (2) of attitudes a conflict he does indeedintroduce fromtheconflict distinguishable his beliefs between maycountin favorof a (1)." Thus. Peteralreadyhas inconsistent But here'stheproblem: reasonis violated.he already requirement cannot suchbeliefs Andso theneedto avoidhaving reasonis violated.According described (leaving explanation Cognitivist posedbythecase of St. 19We shouldnotethatthe £l Springer This content downloaded on Fri.thevery that theCognitivist is supposed to that we revise requirement requires be explaining. and intends one does notY). we havea Cognitivist one does notY)."Specifically. then "If one believes(that he claimsthat ofreason. (2) and (3). motivated St.to use BC to explain IC. Some consideration to y and to x. reasons Donald As Davidson false originally pointed by argued. beliefsabout St. And one will about what beliefs inconsistent between a conflict to to intend comes and believes x and to who intends theperson when (3) y. an intention witha beliefabout what one will do because we cannotidentify are in general from reasons forintending to do something "reasons quitedifferent St.perhaps to do whatis virtuous.intends that reason without sufficient one willY.p.) provides will do x9we cannot that one to believe a reason tox without to intend reason being will do x. the to believe that one a reason itself without (Likewise.then toX. I find quitepersuasive. 95. The fact that is will do it. Peter thenone has some beliefthatviolatesa narrowaside thedetails). intends X's. explainwhyhe shouldherenot thisintention that hisforming Andyetwe havetheintuition to denyJesus. then of V: a Cogntivist two explanations (§2). Peter once more. Peter byitself can Since intend to to him with no reason something be a denyChrist.oronebelieves that reason sufficient without (ifone onebelieves ifone has of V: in short. intention form theadditional of V seemsinadequate.

onlyifI intend theticket ME* minutes now and still travel to does not then five from apply Prague. 667-668. I could. we can we cannot use BC conclude that evenifwe suppose BeliefThesisis true. But some havinginconsistent to is needed for a on form inconsistent such should not explanation why person go andtheCognitivist. ME* so. I haveargued Belief in thissection theStrong that evenifwe grant we need to the will x is not sufficient attention to fact that one Thesis. not his. ticketto Prague. explaining s view so that we to can turn his of ME*.Here is s formulation: Setiya' to do E and believethat (ME*) You should[ifyouintend youwill do E onlyif intend to do A/]. possiblereplies Cognitivist circumvent thisdifficulty and I've arguedthatnoneof themsucceed. ME* avoidstheproblem itdoesn'tapplysimply one must believe whenone believes that is M-ing necessary. to could make I've considered three a explanation. 2 Beliefclosureand means-ends coherence the KieranSetiyahas presented an interesting accountwhichdefends Cognitivist of Belief Thesis that with and CL another Strong requirement argues (along the other theoretical ME.320 J.23 of the requirement formulation of means-ends I'm simply coherence. Ö Springer This content downloaded on Fri. (Returning I he does earlier of the who intends to travel to since example gave Prague. to me. pay believing forintending to x.) by required myoriginal is when one believes applies only doing-M-because-one-raw-intends-to-do-M If I intend will to travel to and believe that I travel to necessary. Setiya argues that when one doesn't believe thata decision is necessary. The conflicts are therefore not identical. pp. and (3). 668. Setiyaputsit. person notbelievethatmaking use of a carbon-dioxide-emitting modeof transportationis necessary fortraveling because-one-now-intends-to-do-so to Prague. That's why ME* applies only when one believes a decision is necessary. 1 Mar 2013 12:52:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . rationality) explains of therequirement formulations to be means-ends coherent are possible. (2).So.he is not ME* to form the to do intention But unlike ME. one could simply. ME* is my label. sideeffects since Like themyoriginal ofnecessary ME. Setiya' Cognitivist explanation 21 22 Setiya 2007a. Setiya 2007a. Setiya 2007a. Brunero conflict betweenhis believing(1). for trustthat I will at some later time formthe intentionto buy the airline example. thatdoing-M-because-one-now-mtemfa-to-do-M to the is necessary.22 you do-M-because-you-now-intend-to-do-M. p.21 As I mentioned at the start of paper. Prague Prague to buyan airline butI think I couldform theintention to buy ticket. theStrong to explainIC. This factmakesit possiblefora personto have inconsistent beliefsabout whathe will do without intentions. I've argued. Let's sumup. trustoneself to formthe intention at some later time. ForME* to apply. withoutirrationality. I must is believethat to buytheticket mynowintending As ME* that a is when one believes decision necessary. toprovide suchan is notwellpositioned intentions. appliesonly It is not my purposehere to argueeither foror againstME* as a necessary.withoutirrationality.

of M involves to do intend to (6)."24 itself as motivating believe: (4) I will do E. argues that is is pathological Whenever be bothsoundandampliative. to intend Now. 664. pp.we could thensee how ME* is More precisely. to be means-ends of coming (5) wouldbe a wayof complying and ME*. intention: intention becauseof that I am goingto <'> attitude is that very represents someone whointends someendE will He argues that action. 0.26 thanpractical reasonrather of theoretical a requirement actually cometo believe could one is whether I as So.) But. Applying or abandon abandon to either is rationally (5). More As I mentioned earlier. course. 24 Setiya2007a.aboutPractical Rationality Against Cognitivism 321 involvesbelief.in fact. mentioned. one way forone to come to believe(6) is by coming is we are which of s to assuming correct. of requirement any violating without would that of theoretical believing(6) prohibit rationality requirement of ME* by a Cognitivist to do M.Setiya thinksthat intention of or desireview that intention is a matter a he defends the motivating. self-referential like.he will believe: And whenME* is applicable (5) I will do E onlyifI will do-M-because-I-now-intend-to-do-M. 25 Notethat to do E. of my inference /?. of requirement appealingto CL and means-ends then would of theoretical explain together rationality requirements to Setiya. argument. theimportant question. I to the content of my As he "when intend belief. whobelieves(4) and (5) someone we can say that CL to thesebeliefs. 671-673. 26 Setiya2007a.the premise I already is redundant: theinference is true. kindcouldnever ofthis an inference I believethat that thebelief that a newbelief I wouldform p from byinferring is false: I did not.p.one could also believing coming do M. thenwe can present explanation intending These theoretical other that rationality. come to believe: (4). coherence. and so wouldbe a way a wayofceasingto intend (4) wouldconstitute abandoning with bothCL Andabandoning coherent. to him. 1 Mar 2013 12:52:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . (According Setiya' theory intention. according reason. thepremise Whenever however. precisely. putsit.believe thatp. other without M and to do of requirement any violating (6) without intending theoretical Setiya argues that one could not. inference: kindofpathological a certain hisargument bydiscussing begins Setiya inference this reason one that He that belief one's from ofp theinference p.25 to do M. required (6) I will do-M-because-I-now-intend-to-do-M. Let's considerhis rationality. But the important to without to believe come questionis intending (6) M and without to do without believe to come could one whether (6) intending other is some If there theoretical other rationality. ^ Springer This content downloaded on Fri.

If I intend to (/>. p. there couldbe an below. toleaveher desired.by an inference thatis defective inference to the conclusionthat I intendto </>. has toldme that thisis whatI intend to do. forthcoming. Setiya2007a.27 He immediately show whyit is goes on to arguethatsimilarconsiderations incoherent to believe(6) without to do M: intending Whatdoes thishave to do withintention and instrumental reason?It is a on the curious factthat thebeliefthat one intends to </> can onlybe acquired. In theepistemic inference of thispathological kind. coherewith one another. fromany premise.29 And so the worryabout the of a soundampliative inference to p is out of place in thiscontext. by David Armstrong Ö Springer This content downloaded on Fri.the self-reference I already intention ensures thattheinference is redundant. supported forsomeother Andlet's suppose I cometo havethisbelief because that woman.To putit quickly. 427.likeinferring I It incoherence thefacts from own beliefs. orcoming tobelieve. For suppose I infer the that that I intend to (j)on theground If conclusion is false. is constituted the intention to </>. I've borrowed thesloganfrom Jason belowdoes notdepend on The argument Bridges. I am goingto </> cannot believethat becauseI so intend. follows.Brunero believethat sense of should. Perhaps follows: 27 28 Setiya2007a. thisslogan. the that/?. I think thatI'll explain thereis a significant flawin thisargument However. pp. 30 The of one's observable behavior of one's beliefs about possibility beingused to evaluatethetruth one's ownattitudes is discussed 1963. cometo see that myactions (Perhaps better thehypothesis that I merely anddidnotintend. theflawis that thequestion of whether is towhether an agent inference top that is both soundandampliative is notrelevant rational to use Setiya'sphrasing) inbelieving. my I intend unlessit that there is something incoherent aboutthebeliefthat to </>.will instantiate a pattern thatcannotbe bothsoundand ampliative. unavailability This sketch of an objection will be presented in moredetailbelow.I just find it to be a nice wayto putthepoint.30) whoI reasonably think knows me much better than I knowmyself. 670-671. notwhether totheworld (or arebasedon correspond they otherbeliefs which correspond to the world). does notfollow that top wouldhaveto involve theoretical inference anyampliative to use a sloganI like. p. a Cognitivist then we can provide explanation of ME* by appealing to CL and therequirement to avoid thiskindofincoherence. 670. Rationality. it Even if it is truethatanyampliative inference to p wouldhave to be unsound. Theoretical inference to I a defect that amounts the belief that intend to without support (j) involving .322 J. mypsychiatrist. of inference is unsound. one shouldnevermakean p. think. Thereare several wayswe couldmodel as we couldmodelmyreasoning myreasoning leadingto thisfalsebelief. in just this way. An basis of evidence.But if the conclusionis true. 1 Mar 2013 12:52:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .is a matter of whether ourbeliefs irrationality. (orcoherent. An examplewill helphere.p.Let's supposethat I falsely I intend to believethat leave mywifeforsomeother I later woman.28 by If Setiya'sargument is successful.

coming to tointend ifI werealready that is right s argument. I wouldbe coming tocomply with a In coming of rationality. one wouldbe (properly) reasoning in thiscase is notreally that How we chooseto modelmyreasoning important. intend (10) my from I herecometo believe(10) byreasoning we could (7) and (8). aboutwhat falsebeliefs inhaving involved incoherence theoretical But thispoint does not Kolodny 2005. I wouldalready ofintention. (7) My trusted psychiatrist If I I intend trusted thinks intend then it. (9) Thereis conclusive I to wife. matterfor the argumentin the text here. ve. if I were to alreadybelieve (10). which is false.since(10) is false.there way. Nor does it followthatmybelieving involvetheoretical (10) or my irrationality. which requires already to he argues. Kolodny argues thatthis is a narrow-scoperequirement.3{ from of(9) toformation ofthe inproceeding thecontent And. Since(10) is false.Butif(10) is false. (10) ampliati ampliati which toleavemywife. for is onethat itis rational in (10). havetobe unsound.32 Ö Springer This content downloaded on Fri. Mybelief anytheoretical continuing And so believetheevidenceconclusively based on whatI (reasonably) supports! to (10) would have to be ve inference it's truethatany ampliati even though to (10) wouldhave to ve inference it does notfollowthatany ampliati unsound. 521. have to be false. that means anyinference (10) wouldhavetobefalse. I to leave wife. intend leave (10) my tobelieve(10) on thebasisof(9). thenan inference I wouldhave to not to be to inference an order for In ve. irrationality . 32 Kolodny 2005. with one's wayintocompliance that belief (10). 1 Mar 2013 12:52:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .Against Cognitivism about Practical Rationality 323 I intend thinks to leave mywife. ( 10) would ME* in thewaythat we willbe unableto explain then theoretical here. intend I notalready that believe (10). I display irrationality. anyampliati to (10) would have to involve ve inference it does not followthatany ampliati to nordoes it followthat theoretical (10) or mycoming mybelieving irrationality. according to (10) would not be And.as Kolodny argues. if one believesthatthereis (B+) Rationality requires that evidence conclusive p. But it does not followthatin comingto believe (10). 520. p. is that is important What mybelief I've arrived at in a rational I have. tohistheory leavemywife. wouldalso (10). and in in (10) is tobelieve(10).that toavoidthesupposed toCL andthe is. comesin:as I argued Buthereis where myobjection (10) wouldhavetobe unsound. 31 (B+).Now. p. then. Or perhaps moresimply as follows: modelmyreasoning I intend evidencethat to leave mywife. toSetiya' Let's return Setiya believe(10). to(10) would ve inference that evenifit'strue above. (7) or(8). the requirement thatNiko Kolodnyhas specifically requirement as: formulated one to believe thatp.byappealing requirement Setiya suggests one intends. be any neednot Butifthere theoretical havetoinvolve believe irrationality. as Setiyapoints on thefirst oneofmypremises model. to believe(10) wouldhave to involvetheoretical irrationality.andone which beliefs me to holdgiventheother to is no soundinference out. (8) my psychiatrist something.

may a way of analogy commit us tothinking theallegedincoherence involved in (a) that doesn't analyzing that thesame incoherence is involved in (b). thisis merely a rough sketch. perhaps muchmorecouldbe said about about(a). in order a beliefaboutwhatone to whattheevidence to form supports conclusively ifI'm right that to even it we be able intends. Setiya arguesthatwe can explain means-ends coherence by in believing involved to CL and a to avoid the incoherence appealing requirement one that to M without one intends to M.perhaps) point such about what strikes me as in New That's Princeton peculiar Jersey? being I in thelinesof reasoning thispeculiarity is notinvolved But notethat reasoning. this short about and (a) justsomething peculiar peculiarity in (a).to (if that'stheright own towards one's be inward is that one should not looking mymind. explainwhy might and no incoherence.alternatively. 3 Conclusion I've argued in this evenifCognitivists thetruth can successfully establish paperthat of theStrong BeliefThesis. that thepeculiarity in (a). 1 Mar 2013 12:52:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .in (b) inferring that one intends incoherent.324 J. doesn't follow that there is anytheoretical inbelieving it.there are difficulties in their accounts of how involved £} Springer This content downloaded on Fri. involve need not from F ve above that whatsoever. Am I now also committed to thinking incoherence as well? is there I'm actually notsurewhether incoherence or. in to draw conclusion about the location order a Rather. or incoherence let's consider whatmight be the sourceof thatpeculiarity I reasonfrom Let's supposethat is in New Jersey. argues. (a) involves But falls of incoherence. (12) Princeton wordto describe aboutsuchreasoning What'speculiar it). there is stillsomething involves incoherent. wouldhavetobe unsound. beliefs to should be looking outward at theworld: does theevidence (a map.And incoherence involved thekindofincoherence in inferring mere involved thefacts (orperhaps peculiarity) from one's own beliefs be due to else might something entirely. or has to whatone's trusted modeled above:there one is looking psychiatrist said. peculiar. seems that (b) So. (11) I believePrinceton to is in New Jersey. is involved I've argued whenone infers thefactsfrom one's own beliefs. Brunero that Whatabouttheanalogy that motivates just Setiya'sargument? Setiyaargues that as there is something from one's belief incoherent in (a) inferring that p. Let's sum up. normally one of Princeton. (b) any any premise argued that(a) need notinvolveany incoherence. I merely want to suggest orincoherence involved Setiya's that be not be and there between and (a) (b) might apt. there p to 4> is something injustthesameway. He argues that believing actually intending to M without ve intends M is because to incoherent anyampliati actually intending he inference tothis belief Thissamekind ofincoherence. thateven if any ampliative it inference to thisbeliefwouldhave to be unsound. Of course.

M. Wide or narrow Broome.116. and one which takes the Strong Belief Thesis to be true and argues that CL (along with another of of theoretical rationality) explains ME . Spheres of reason. uncertainty. J. Review 29.Cambridge: in taces oj intention. intention. Bratman. Kolodny. and uncertainty. Cognitivism ramonage: Bratman. M. Hart. theoretical. 1. Normatività. Practicalreflection (David HumeSeriesEdition). (2007a).and I've argued thatneither requirement themsucceed. Press. 6/. 263-279. & S. of instrumental ofEthicsand Social Philosophy.. Timmerman. belief. Sobel & S. (Eds. "Intending" Davidson. Holton. & Decision. the StrongBelief Thesis to be trueand argues thatBC explains IC.). to instrumental ofEthics J. Intention. Journal 1. 1 Mar 2013 12:52:36 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . oftheBritish Proceedings Grice.(forthcoming). Harvard M. reason. 649-673. Whybe rational? Mind. ofPhilosophy. University Anscombe. 252-265. Cambridge: ThePhilosophical Review. (2005). Mind.Cambridge: Mind. of practical The myth N. and In Normativity reason.).117. Broome. andinstrumental 1. (1976). £l Springer This content downloaded on Fri.P.(2005).K. Intentions University Bratman. Intention. Stanford: J. rationality.(2005).114. 1-26. EuropeanJournal consistency. (2001). reasoning. Bridges. Wallace.R. K. 90. Princeton Princeton: rationalism. Intention Bratman. J. University Setiva. Robertson J. Is introspective incorrigible? knowledge Armstrong. Cognitivistaccount yetto come. Workon thispaperwas supported by a University References Press. (forthcoming-b). intention. Practical ofMetaphysics.417-432. 27-58. (2007b). Two approaches rationality Brunero. University 57.aboutPractical Rationality Cognitivism Against 325 of of theoreticalrationality the requirements explain the (apparent) requirements one takes I've considered two which Cognitivistexplanations practicalrationality. M.Skorupski. aboutinstrumental 117. Harvard G. In J. commitment Wallace. 72. E. Uxtord: D. 1-28. (Eds. The myth reason. MIT Press. normativity Rationality. D. S. (forthcoming).(forthcoming).Oxford: University the will: Selectedessayson moralpsychology Press.R. (1963). plans and practicalreason.). L. Hampshire. aboutPracticalReason reprinted M. The unity J. Forthcoming Bratman. Philosopher's Imprint. Reasons University Cambridge foraction. Cambridge University In J. (1999). Robertson J.(2006). 431^463. andinstrumental commitment tonormativity. Changein view. J.). Intention. reasoning. and transparency. and Social Philosophy. offer. Press. (1987). Press. Intention and Mind. 1-20. (2007).(2001). ofreasoning.practical. R. (1971). (1986). reprinted Press. Academy. (1958). requirements.Ethics. belief. of Missouri Research deal. 509-563.(1999). (1981). Press. scope?Mind. andinstrumental M. 398-419. Raz. G. rationality. G.(2007). I that such an account would have to to some difficulties this paper points hope resolve or avoid.12. ThePhilosophical and means-ends Review. Ratio.Skorupski.Cambridge: Harman. (1963). H. & S. J. 1-12. (2008). Uxtord and Events in Essayson Actions (2nd ed. In D. Postscript Oxford and practicalreason. Reasonswithout CSLI Publications. Journal andbeliefconsistency. (forthcoming-a). Kolodny. Velleman. 359-370. Partial belief. J.Timmerman. partial N. I consider these to be the most plausible Cognitivistexplanationson better but of course therecould be another. A.D. Spheres of reason. Piccinini forhelpful discussions and to an Thanksto Eric Wilandand Gualtiero Acknowledgements thepapera great that forinsightful comments referee Studies helpedimprove Philosophical anonymous BoardAward. J. Harman. Normative Broome. Wall (Eds. Cognitivism Setiya.

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