Parfit gives two main arguments against rational egoism.
Yet rhythm requires the background of a rational framework in order that it may be fully perceived, but this framework need not embrace all the rational factors described above.
Shoemaker presents three main arguments to show that self-blindness is impossible in a rational creature.
Manipulation is often characterized as a form of influence that is neither coercion nor rational persuasion.
Is harnessing a non-rational propensity of a person bypassing or subverting rational capacities?
One might cite our most confident judgments about rational action and claim that rational egoism best fits these.
By rational, it is here meant internally consistent, as well as rational in the light of the institution’s purposes.
Stocker’s account of justified choice differs from the concept of “satisficing” as used in the economics and rational choice literature.
As part of their rational plans, they have a substantive interest in the development and exercise of their capacities to be rational and to be reasonable.
The reason is that, while relative frequencies are always rational numbers, the limit of an infinite sequence of rational numbers may be an irrational number.
After noting that each rational number corresponds, in an evident way, to a cut, he observes that infinitely many cuts fail to be engendered by rational numbers.
Applicability to rational beliefs: an interpretation should clarify the role that probabilities play in constraining the degrees of belief, or credences, of rational agents.
Recall the ‘applicability to rational beliefs’ criterion: an interpretation should clarify the role that probabilities play in constraining the credences of rational agents.
First, it seems reasonable to think that because manipulation differs from rational persuasion, it must influence behavior by means that do not engage the target’s rational capacities.
And since rational and non-rational minds are construed as radically different, this view allows that non-rational minds might have their own sorts of (non-rational) intuitive representations, thus avoiding any attribution of contradictory claims to Kant.
Treating manipulation as bypassing rational deliberation, and then characterizing “bypassing rational deliberation” in terms of introducing non-rational influences into deliberation, would cohere nicely with the observation that manipulation is a contrary of rational persuasion.
The Port Royal Logic (Arnauld, 1662) showed how utilities and probabilities together determine rational preferences; de Finetti’s betting analysis derives probabilities from utilities and rational preferences; von Neumann and Morgenstern (1944) derive utilities from probabilities and rational preferences.
Rational Reflection (Elga 2013) maintains the idea that my degree of belief in q should be in line with that I think the maximally rational subject would have in my situation, but also highlights the fact that my determining what this value is depends on my identifying which probability function is the maximally rational one to have.
Notice that this requires us to have not only a theory of the rational numbers (not difficult to develop) but also a theory of sets of rational numbers: if we are to understand a real number to be identified with a cut in the rational numbers, where a cut is a pair of sets of rational numbers, we do need to understand what a set of rational numbers is.
There is another recent argument against rational egoism (Rachels and Alter 2005, Tersman 2008, and especially de Lazari-Radek and Singer 2014). (1) Believing that rational egoism is true increases my reproductive fitness, whether or not rational egoism is true. (2) Therefore my belief that rational egoism is true (or, better, that rational egoism appears to me true upon reflection) does not help to justify rational egoism, since I would have that belief whether or not rational egoism is true. (3) For some other normative beliefs (such as belief in utilitarianism), having the belief does not increase reproductive fitness. (4) Therefore my belief that (say) utilitarianism is true can help justify utilitarianism.
rational
noun quantity
- an integer or a fraction
adj all
- of or associated with or requiring the use of the mind
adj all
- consistent with or based on or using reason
Example: rational behavior
adj all
- having its source in or being guided by the intellect (as distinguished from experience or emotion)
Example: a rational analysis
adj pert
- capable of being expressed as a quotient of integers
Example: rational numbers
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There is another recent argument against rational egoism Rachels and Alter 2005 Tersman 2008 and especially de Lazari-Radek and Singer 2014 1 Believing that rational egoism is true increases my reproductive fitness whether or not rational egoism is true 2 Therefore my belief that rational egoism is true or better that rational egoism appears to me true upon reflection does not help to justify rational egoism since I would have that belief whether or not rational egoism is true 3 For some other normative beliefs such as belief in utilitarianism having the belief does not increase reproductive fitness 4 Therefore my belief that say utilitarianism is true can help justify utilitarianism