On Monday, 4 December, we’ll have the pleasure of listening to Roberto Keller’s talk, “Wrong-Kind-of-Reason Skepticism Strikes Back”.
The talk will be held exclusively online. Here is the link for the meeting : https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_Y2ZhNzdjOWUtMGZmNi00NTJmLWEyYjItOTgwMzY5Yjg0OGY4%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%2288c9873b-3065-42a0-9f3c-ac864c0ac788%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%2295152ecd-5dcb-4819-b4c7-e9b2e4b24d9d%22%7d
Reasons of the right kind to believe, desire, or intend that p are reasons which bear, respectively, on whether p is true, desirable, or choiceworthy. Reasons of the wrong kind for these same attitudes, by contrast, are reasons which exclusively bear on whether it would be good, useful, or otherwise advisable for one to believe, desire, or intend that p—and this regardless of whether p is true, desirable, or choiceworthy. Disagreement persists as to how to understand this contrast. The default view, realism, is that while reasons of the wrong kind for one to F—e.g., believe, desire, intend… that p—differ from reasons of the right kind in a number of interesting ways, both are genuine reasons for F. The revisionary view, skepticism, holds that realists are mistaken, and that reasons of the wrong kind to F are not reasons for F-ing, but rather reasons to want, desire, or bring about F. In this presentation, I will defend skepticism against a little discussed objection, namely that it fails to provide an error-theory which could explain why we are systematically mistaken in thinking of reasons of the wrong kind to F as reasons for F-ing. More precisely, I will argue that an explanation of this kind is not difficult to find, and that it receives strong support by a rather plain assumption about the connection between reasons and rationality. This same explanation, I will continue, shows that realism—not skepticism—is the revisionary view here, as it breaks the connection between reasons and rationality. I will conclude by suggesting that the only way out for the realist is to adopt a strategy which makes their dispute with skeptics collapse onto the debate between pragmatists and anti-pragmatists, and this, I will argue, is a desirable result.
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