Reasons and Rational Choice

An AHRC-Sponsored Masterclass in the LSE Choice Group

Niko Kolodny (UC Berkeley)

Session 1: Reasons and Ought: Between Objective and Subjective
Wednesday, February 2, 3:30 - 5:00

1. Normative reasons introduced as what matter in deliberation and advice

2. Normative reasons related to ought.

3. What the agent has reason, or ought, to do is neither "objective"-depending on all the facts-nor "subjective"-depending only on the agent's evidence.

4. Instead, reason and ought depend on what epistemic modal judgments depend on: what is likely, what must be the case, etc. And that is the information of the assessor of the relevant claim.

5. One implication of this view is that modus ponens is invalid for the indicative conditional.

6. Another implication of this view is to undercut arguments that reasons are facts.

Optional Reading for Session 1:
Kolodny and MacFarlane, "Ifs and Oughts," Journal of Philosophy (2010)

Session 2: Rational Requirements
Wednesday, February 2, 5:30 - 7:00

7. Rational requirements, as depending on how things are with the subject: (i) formal coherence requirements, (ii) kratic requirements, (iii) subjective-evidence requirements.

8. A puzzle: What rational requirements tell us to do differs from what, on plausible, substantive views, we have reason for, or ought to, do.

9. An error theory for subjective-evidence requirements.

10. An error theory for kratic requirements.

11. A template for an error theory for formal coherence requirements, focusing on requirement N.

12. How the template would apply to other formal coherence requirements: C, IC, M.

Optional Reading for Session 2:
Niko Kolodny, "Why Be Rational?" Mind 114:455 (2005): 509-63
Niko Kolodny, "How Does Coherence Matter?" Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society (2007)

Please register for this event by sending an email to e.p.senchaudhuri @ lse.ac.uk