By John and Helen Steward, editors Hyman
This choice of unique essays by means of top philosophers covers the total variety of the philosophy of motion.
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Additional resources for Agency and Action (Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement; 55)
We were looking for a relation between mental states and action that was neither causal nor normative. What relation could that be? In this connection, it is worth pausing to consider how it is with moral norms. Sometimes people suppose that there is a certain selfreference in a moral norm. e. because they are your debts'. I don't want to endorse this suggestion here at all, but only to try to relate it to the principle of rationality we are discussing. Our rationality principle might say 'Where you believe that p and desire to O if p, you should $ because of that'.
But PR1 is not a requirement at all, since it clearly remains possible that, though S believes that p and desires to $ if p, rationally speaking he should not 4>, since he has (what one might call) stronger reasons to do something else. 5) But for my purposes, I need something reasonably specific as a stalking horse, and I am going to use these. The crucial feature of PR1 and PR2, for my purposes, is that they are rational requirements on a relation between beliefs and desires 4 As a card-carrying particularist, I would not myself accept this idea that norms necessarily rest on principles, but I go along with it here for the sake of argument.
The hope is that we will be able to say that someone can be acting rationally even when doing something that there is no reason to do. Subjective principles could play this role even if one is not required, or even permitted, to act 'in the light of them at all. Indeed, it has become rather obscure what demands such a principle does lay on one—how it affects one's normative score, as it were. It has begun to look as if subjective principles are not ones than can even be obeyed, which is a bit disconcerting.
Agency and Action (Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement; 55) by John and Helen Steward, editors Hyman