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The Oxford Handbook of Rationality$
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Alfred R. Mele and Piers Rawling

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195145397

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195145399.001.0001

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THE RATIONALITY OF BEING GUIDED BY RULES

THE RATIONALITY OF BEING GUIDED BY RULES

Chapter:
(p.222) chapter 12 THE RATIONALITY OF BEING GUIDED BY RULES
Source:
The Oxford Handbook of Rationality
Author(s):

Edward F. McClennen (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195145399.003.0012

McClennen addresses a fundamental dilemma facing the claim that it is rational to be guided by rules. Either (1) the practical verdict issued by a rule is the same as that favored by the balance of reasons, in which case the rule is redundant or (2) the verdicts differ, in which case the rule should be abandoned. McClennen argues that we can resolve this dilemma by revising our account of practical reasoning to accord with the prescriptions of a resolute choice model. Agents in societies in which people resolutely follow, for example, a rule to keep their commitments to return favors fare better than agents in societies that lack a commitment mechanism or in which costs are incurred to enforce it.

Keywords:   choice, commitment, cost, dilemma, favor, practical reasoning, reason, resoluteness, rule, society

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