March 29, 2017
John Brunero to speak on March 30
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.