Book Chapter

Reliable and Unreliable Judgments about Reasons

C Fine, C Donovan, J Kennett

The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity | Oxford University Press | Published : 2018


The new skepticism about practical reason is predicated upon empirical findings which challenge the primacy traditionally afforded to reasoning in contexts of normative deliberation. These findings, which are associated with dual-process theories of cognition, are taken to support two skeptical claims: our reasons for action are not what we take them to be, and reasoning is an unreliable means for arriving at reliable judgments. After providing a critical overview of empirically based skepticism and its implications, we argue that skeptics underestimate the role that reasoning processes play in moral deliberation. We then canvass ways in which threats to the reliability of individual-level m..

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