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K-State Today

March 29, 2017



John Brunero to speak on March 30

By Teresa Zerbe

John Brunero, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, will present "Intentions and the Bootstrapping Objection" at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 30, in 203 Dickens Hall. 

Abstract: Some philosophers — Schroeder and Korsgaard — think that intending an end provides one with a reason to intend or take means to that end. Others — Scanlon and Chang — think that our intentions can make such a normative difference only in "tie-breaker" situations — that is, situations in which there's more than one option, each of which one has sufficient, but not conclusive, reason to pursue. Others — Bratman and Boome — reject these views since they allow for the implausible "bootstrapping" of a reason into existence. However, doubts have been raised both about what the "bootstrapping" objection is, and about whether it's a good objection to these views. In this paper, Brunero presents a novel version of the bootstrapping objection — one that targets both the intention-provide-reasons view and the "tie-breaker" view. Brunero also tries to deflect various arguments concerning rational deliberation that have been advanced in favor of the "tie-breaker" view.

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