Theoretical and Practical Rationality: Towards a Unified Account
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This work is dedicated to the development of a unified account of both theoretical and practical rationality. I adopt a particular view of evaluative properties, according to which entities are evaluated as good or bad according to how well they fulfill the constitutive functions of their kinds. I argue that the function of belief is to accurately represent reality, while the function of action is to satisfy the agent’s desires. These functions fix the goodness- or success-conditions of belief and action. With these functions in place, I adopt a reliabilist conception of reasoning which evaluates reasoning processes by how well they allow us to achieve the constitutive aims of belief and action. Moreover, I argue that the process of determining which action will best satisfy our desires is a cognitive matter – non-cognitive states like desire do not actually provide the agent with reasons.