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Croatian Journal of Philosophy

Volume 2, Issue 3, 2002
Theories of Rationality

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articles
1. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Nenad Miščević, Nenad Smokrović Theories of Rationality
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2. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Wolfgang Spohn The Many Facets of the Theory of Rationality
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Modern theory of rationality has truly grown into a science of its own. Still, the general topic remained a genuinely philosophical one. This essay is concerned with giving a brief overview. Section 2 explains the fundamental scheme of all rationality assessments. With its help, a schematic order of the main questions concerning the theory of rationality can be given; the questions turn out to be quite unevenly addressed in the literature. Section 3 discusses the fundamental issue that the theory of rationality seems to be both a normative and an empirical theory. Section 4, finally, shows how the unity of the theory of rationality can nevertheless be maintained.
3. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Pascal Engel Volitionism and Voluntarism about Belief
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This paper attempts to clarify some issues about what is usually called “doxastic voluntarism”. This phrase often hides a confusion between two separate (although connected) issues: whether beliefis or can be, as a matter of psychological fact, under the control of the will, on the one hand, and whether we can have practical reasons to believe something, or whether our beliefs are subject to any sort of “ought”, on the other hand. The first issue -- which I prefer to call the issue of volitionism about belief -- is psychological, and I take the answer to be negative, along the lines of the conceptual arguments against believing at will adduced by writers such as Bernard Williams. The second issue -- which I call voluntarism proper -- is normative, and the answer that I give is a qualified yes. Belief is not a matter of the will, although there are certain things that we ought to believe.
4. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Jonathan Knowles Naturalised Epistemology without Norms
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I seek to show that we do not need norms in a genuinely naturalistic epistemology. The argumentation is launched against a common conception of such norms as derived through a process of wide reflective equilibrium, where one aims to bring general normative statements into accord with concrete, possibly expert, intuitions about particular cases, taking simultaneously into account relevant scientific findings -- including facts about human psychological abilities -- and philosophical theories. According to this line, it is possible thus to arrive at genuine, general normative statements concerning how we should reason. I maintain that such statements are superfluous or illegitimate for several interlocking reasons. The central arguments are i) that certain norms simply repeat the content of descriptive statements which in any case would have to be taken account of in scientific reasoning; ii) if norms are merely meant to systematize an intuitive capacity for reasoning and forming beliefs, we can make do with honing that capacity; iii) there is no reason to regard principles in a psychological reasoning module as norms rather than simply prescursors of behaviour; iv) we cannot make sense of experts in relation to epistemic rationality; v) making play with the idea of purely philosophical constraints on theories of norms involves reneging on naturalism.
5. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Elisabeth Pacherie Naturalistic Epistemologies and Normativity
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The main aim of this paper is to investigate what becomes of normativity in naturalistic epistemologies. What particular stand a given naturalistic epistemology takes on normativity will depend both on what it thinks is wrong with traditional epistemology and on what level of normativity is at stake. I propose a tentative typology of possible attitudes towards normativity from within naturalistic epistemology. In section I, I give a brief presentation of traditional epistemology, stressing the dimensions of this approach that may appear problematic to naturalists. In section II, I present and discuss the naturalist project in its radical form, as personified by Quine, who questions not only the way in which traditional epistemology proceeds in order to attain its objectives, but also the validity of these objectives. The last two sections concentrate on more moderate versions of naturalism. Section III investigates the various possible roles that may be assigned to psychology in these moderate forms of naturalism and the ensuingconsequences vis-a-vis the problem of normativity. In section IV, I distinguish between two levels of normativity in epistemology, what I call the normativity of means and the normativity of ends and I discuss the prospects of a naturalization of epistemic ends.
6. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
John Cantwell The Pragmatic Stance: Whither Dutch Books and Money Pumps?
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The view that decision methods can only be justified by appeal to pragmatic considerations is defended. Pragmatic considerations are viewed as providing the underlying subject matter (“semantics”) of decision theories. It is argued that other approaches (e.g. justifying principles by appeal to obviousness, common usage, etc.) fail to provide grounds for a normative decision theory.It is argued that preferences that can lead to pragmatically adverse outcomes in a relevantly similar possible decision situation are pragmatically unsound, even if the decision situation never arises. This rebuts several standard objections to money-pump and Dutch book arguments. However, because one can only appeal to relevantly similar decision situations in pragmatic arguments, these will have a less general scope than is often imagined. A conclusion is that pragmatic arguments for strong unconditional principles such as ‘always maximise expected utility!’ do not work. Pragmatic considerations can however be used to argue for conditional principles of the form ‘if conditions X, Y and Z are satisfied, then one ought to satisfy W’, where W need not follow logically from X, Y and Z.The notion of a sound pragmatic argument is defined in terms of particular notion of coherence, it is shown how this can be applied and how it handles problematic cases such as van Fraassen’s Dutch book for the principle of Reflection.
7. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Bruno Verbeek Game Theory and Moral Norms: An Overview and an Application
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This paper provides an overview of developments in the application of game theory to moral philosophy. Game theory has been used in moral theory in three ways. First, as a tool to analyze the function of moral norms. Secondly, to characterize bargaining about moral norms. Thirdly, the paper demonstrates how game theory can make sense of the authority of moral norms in a way that renders the concept suitable for further analysis.
8. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Olav Gjelsvik Paradox Lost, but in which Envelope?
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The aim of this paper is to diagnose the so-called two envelopes paradox. Many writers have claimed that there is something genuinely paradoxical in the situation with the two envelopes, and some writers are now developing non-standards theories of expected utility. I claim that there is no paradox for expected utility theory as I understand that theory, and that contrary claims are confused. Expected utility theory is completely unaffected by the two-envelope paradox.
book reviews
9. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
István Aranyosi Physicalism and Its Discontents
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10. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Giovanni de Grandis Rationality in Action
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