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Spheres of ReasonNew Essays in the Philosophy of Normativity$
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Simon Robertson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572939

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572939.001.0001

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Setting Ends for Oneself through Reason

Setting Ends for Oneself through Reason

Chapter:
(p.199) 9 Setting Ends for Oneself through Reason
Source:
Spheres of Reason
Author(s):

Andrews Reath (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572939.003.0009

Kantians argue that rationality includes a capacity to ‘set ends through reason’, including rationally optional ends. But little attention has been given to the question: ‘In what sense are such ends set through reason rather than given by desire or interest?’ This chapter develops a procedural account, on which rationally setting oneself an end has two distinct ‘moments’: an ‘evaluative moment’, in which one assesses the value of some end in which one has an interest; and a ‘moment of commitment’, in which one adopts the end. Practical reason structures each. Regarding the first moment, sound judgements about the value of an end, result from a procedure of deliberation that incorporates certain formal constraints. Regarding the second, committing oneself to an end that one judges to be worthwhile creates an additional reason or requirement to pursue the end, as long as that commitment remains in place.

Keywords:   commitment, Kantian, procedural, rationality, reason, requirement, set ends, value

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