The Symmetry of Rational Requirements


Way J (2011) The Symmetry of Rational Requirements. Philosophical Studies, 155 (2), pp. 227-239.;

Some irrational states can be avoided in more than one way. For example, if you believe that you ought to A you can avoid akrasia by intending to A or by dropping the belief that you ought to A. This supports the claim that some rational requirements are wide-scope. For instance, the requirement against akrasia is a requirement to intend to A or not believe that you ought to A. But some writers object that this Wide-Scope view ignores asymmetries between the different ways of avoiding irrationality. In this paper I defend the Wide-Scope view against recent objections of this sort from Mark Schroeder and Niko Kolodny. I argue that once we are clear about what the Wide-Scope view is committed to—and, importantly, what it is not—we can see that Schroeder and Kolodny’s objections fail.

Rational requirements; Asymmetry objection; Wide-scope view; Schroeder; Kolodny; Broome; Self-knowledge, Theory of; Rationality

Philosophical Studies: Volume 155, Issue 2

Publication date30/09/2011
Publication date online25/05/2010
Date accepted by journal01/01/1990
Publisher URL