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Extra info for Decision Making - Decisions Of Principle, Principles Of Decisions

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Someone else might say that they took the principle too far or took it in a wrong direction - that the principle itself didn’t require what they did. Nevertheless, the principle P is discredited. ” W h y ? Is it because P so easily lent itself to that way of acting, even when it didn’t require i t ? 54 If a principle is a device for having certain effects, it is a device for having those effects when it is followed, so what actually happens when it is followed, not just what it says, is relevant in assessing that principle as a teleological device.

However, this is not so evident, even leaving aside what was mentioned earlier: commitments made to other persons and past investment in our projects of work and life. 34 However, the theme of countering or fencing in one irrationality with another is worth marking. Can some other things that we think irrational -perhaps weakness of will, self-deception, or fallacies of reasoning -consciously be put to use to thwart or limit still other irrationalities or otherwise undesirable happenings ? ) 3 2 I owe this suggestion to Susan Hurley, who also asks, in reference to and in parallel to our earlier question about whether we can rely upon someone adhering to a principle when his only reasons for holding it are the benefits to him of our so relying, whether someone can expect to honor costs he has sunk if he will not think he earlier had some independent reason to sink them, a reason other than to get himself to honor them later.

In any case, that makes acting on principle, once again, a teleological device. The Kantian tradition tends to hold that principles function to guide the deliberation and action of self-conscious reflective creatures ; hence principles have a theoretical and a practical function. W e are creatures who do not act automatically, without any guidance. W e could imagine having automatic guidance - would that make principles completely otiose for us? -or, more to the point, acting in a way that doesn’t utilize guidance, for instance, at random.

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Decision Making - Decisions Of Principle, Principles Of Decisions by R Nozick

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