First, the command to offer assistance applies to you regardless of whether offering assistance serves any of your desired or intended ends. Second, you have a reason to offer assistance regardless of whether doing so serves any of your desired or intended ends. See Foot According to Kant:. In other words, one is irrationally incoherent.
But it is puzzling how this proposition could be analytic. For a defense of this conceptual impossibility, see Finlay For an alternative reading, see Lee See Schroeder b. For a related discussion of these issues, see Schwartz On the narrow-scope interpretation, reason would require that you will the immoral means.
Your willing the immoral means would be required by a hypothetical imperative but forbidden by the categorical imperative Hill , If this interpretation is right, then reason would never require one to will immoral means. But it would also leave Kant without an account of instrumental incoherence, at least as we have been understanding it. After all, agents can display instrumental incoherence in the pursuit of both moral and immoral ends. So, this interpretation would have Kant avoiding the detachment objection, but at the cost of no longer presenting an account of instrumental incoherence that holds regardless of whether the end is reasonable or good.
But the mature Kantian view—which Korsgaard endorses—explains the normative authority of hypothetical imperatives in terms of the commitments that are constitutive of willing. Korsgaard writes:. But is Korsgaard right that willing an end necessarily involves prescribing that end to yourself? Korsgaard argues that to will some end, you must at least take that end to be good in some sense, and you must also think that there is a reason for pursuing that end , —1. Korsgaard offers a second Kantian explanation of the authority of instrumental rationality.
Rational Coherence and Reason 2. Instrumental Transmission 3. Instrumental Coherence 3. The Status of Instrumental Rationality 4. Rational Coherence and Reason Someone displays instrumentally rationality insofar as she adopts suitable means to her ends. Call the answer, stipulatively, what it would be rationally coherent for the agent to do or intend. What does the agent have reason, or ought she, to do or intend?
This is the question that an agent characteristically asks when she is deliberating about what to do or intend, or when someone else is advising her what to do or intend. One could have a reason to do something without it being the case that one ought to do it, as when the reason is outweighed by competing reasons. However, it is generally thought that if one ought to do something, then one has a reason to do it.
Instrumental Coherence Now we consider instrumental rationality understood as a matter of rational coherence. There seems to be considerable agreement, then, on what we might call the: Violation Claim: If one is instrumentally incoherent—i. This would be so, in general, if the following were the case: Ought Pattern 1 : In any situation, either one ought not to believe that one will E only if one intends to M , or one ought not to intend to E , or one ought to intend to M. It would also be so, in general, if the following were the case: Ought Pattern 2 : In any situation, either one ought not to believe that one will E only if one intends to M , or whatever pattern of intention one ought to have, it is not one intends to E and does not intend to M ; i.
Then by: Epistemic Strictness: If one believes P or is considering whether P , and it is not the case that one ought not to believe P , then it is the case that one ought to believe P. Then by: Practical Strictness: If it is not the case that one ought not to intend to E , then one ought to intend to E. Then one ought to E. Then by: Variant of Ought Necessity: If one ought to E , and one ought to believe that one will E only if one intends to M , then one ought to intend to M.
Then by: Required Self-Knowledge: If one does not intend to M , then one ought to believe that one does not intend to M , one ought to believe that one does not intend to M. Then by: Reverse Closure: If one ought to believe not Q and one ought to believe P only if Q , then one ought to believe not P , one ought to believe that one will not E.
Then by: Effectiveness: So long as one ought to believe that one will not E , one has no reason to intend to E , since the evidence suggests that doing so is pointless. If we also accept: Cost: There is reason not to intend to E , then, so long as one does not intend to M , one has no reason to intend to E and reason not to intend to E.
Another problem is that even if this explains Ought Pattern 2, and so the Violation Claim, it does not explain the: Satisfaction Claim: One satisfies a requirement by avoiding or escaping instrumental incoherence of a kind which one would not satisfy by entering or remaining in instrumental incoherence no matter how one does it. In other words, Self-Monitoring: If one is instrumentally incoherent, then one ought to arrive at some belief about which attitude or pattern of attitudes one ought to have. This would explain the Satisfaction Claim. Here are some candidates for the first component: Strong: If one intends to E , then one believes that one will E.
Medium: If one intends to E , then one believes that it is possible that one will E. Weak: If one intends to E , then one does not believe that one will not E. According to Strong, I believe 1 I will E. The first would be to defend Self-Fulfillment: If one believes that one intends to M , then one intends to M. I believe 1 I do not intend to M. Let us now suppose that the instrumental belief takes this form: 2 If I do not intend to M , then it is not possible for me to E. Thus, in believing 3 and 4 , I violate: Belief Consistency: Rationality requires that [if one believes not P , then one does not believe P ] Thus, if one satisfies Closure, then one violates Belief Consistency Wallace One might also object that if one is going to be a cognitivist about practical requirements in general, one must account for both instrumental coherence and Intention Consistency: One is required [if one intends not to E , then one does not intend to E ].
Such a conflict of intentions would involve the following beliefs: 5 It is possible for me not to E , 6 It is possible for me to E , But unlike those beliefs involved according to Strong, namely, 7 I will not E , 8 I will E , 5 and 6 are perfectly consistent with one another. When this belief is paired with the contrapositive of my instrumental belief 2 If I do not intend to M , I will not E , Closure requires that I believe 3 I will not E , or cease to believe 1 or 2. The Status of Instrumental Rationality Much discussion of instrumental rationality has taken place in the context of a debate about whether instrumental rationality is the only kind of practical rationality or, alternatively, there are other requirements of practical rationality as well, such as requirements of prudence and morality.
Carroll imagined a conversation between Achilles and a Tortoise regarding the following valid argument: A Things that are equal to the same are equal to each other. B The two sides of the Triangle are equal to the same. Therefore, Z The two sides are equal to each other.
In his Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals , Kant distinguishes two kinds of imperatives: Now all imperatives command either hypothetically or categorically. The former represent the practical necessity of a possible action as a means for attaining something else one wants or may possibly want. The categorical imperative would be one which represented an action as objectively necessary in itself, without reference to another end.
According to Kant: How an imperative of skill is possible requires no special discussion. Whoever will the end, wills so far as reason has decisive influence on his actions also the means that are indispensably necessary to his actions and that lie in his power. This proposition, as far as willing is concerned, is analytic. Korsgaard writes: …willing an end just is committing yourself to realizing the end.
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Willing an end, in other words, is an essentially first-personal and normative act. To will an end is to give oneself a law, hence, to govern oneself. Korsgaard , But is Korsgaard right that willing an end necessarily involves prescribing that end to yourself? The desire to pursue the end and the desires that draw me away from it each hold sway in their turn, but my will is never active. The distinction between my will and the operation of the desires and impulses in me does not exist and that means that I, considered as an agent, do not exist. Bibliography Andreou, C. Anscombe, E. Archer, A.
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