American Philosophical Quarterly Vol. 43, No. 2, April 2006

Article excerpt

Can Humeans Ask "Why Be Rational?", EVAN TIFFANY

Humeans often claim that reasons for action must satisfy an internal constraint, meaning that there must be a conceptual connection between reasons and motivation. Humeanism is special, it is alleged, in that it uniquely satisfies this constraint. Just how plausibly to specify the constraint is exceedingly difficult, as has already been documented in the literature. This paper considers one version of the internalist constraint that is both intuitively plausible and has yet to receive critical attention from anti-Humeans the claim that Humean rationality is unshruggable in the sense that one cannot coherently ask, "Why be rational?" It is argued here that Humean rationality faces a tension between unshruggability and nonnative adequacy, that its putative unshruggability lends no independent weight to Humean accounts of practical rationality. Furthermore, it is argued that the unshruggability of Humean rationality presupposes a rather robust version of individualism of the mental.

Phenomenal Conservatism and the Internalist Intuition, MICHAEL HUEMER

Externalist theories of justification create the possibility of cases in which everything appears relevantly similar with respect to two propositions, and yet one proposition is justified and the other is hot. Internalists find this difficult to accept, because it seems irrational in such a case to affirm one proposition and not the other. The underlying internalist intuition supports a specific internalist theory, phenomenal conservatism, on which epistemic justification is conferred by appearances.

Morally Admirable Immorality, TROY JOLLIMORE

The apparent existence of admirable immorality is sometimes taken as evidence that moral requirements may be overridden by demands arising from nonmoral values. As a result, it is often thought that in order to defend the authority of morality, one must argue against the existence of admirable immorality. This paper, however, argues that while admirable immorality does indeed exist, it is not at all clear that its existence poses this sort of threat to the authority of morality. For it turns out that some very familiar forms of normative ethical theory are implicitly committed to the possibility that an action might be simultaneously immoral and morally admirable. Moreover, the existence of morally admirable immorality is hot due to any complexity in the nature of the morally good. It is due, rather, to certain sorts of complexity in the nature of the morally right.

Could an Egoist be a Friend? JOE MINTOFF

Being a friend makes our lives better, but it seems this consideration cannot guide our pursuit of friendship, lest this mean we are not true friends and that our lives are not made better. The aim of this paper is to show how, appearances notwithstanding, being a true friend is consistent with having one's own happiness as one's ultimate end. Aristotle's idea that friends are other selves, and recent accounts of practical reason, show how (1) one's acting as a friend could be motivated and justified by one's being a friend (and not directly by one's own happiness), and yet (2) one's being a friend (and not one's friendly actions) is in turn constrained and justified by one's own happiness. …