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DOI 10.12887/28-2015-4-112-09



Robert PIŁAT – Deliberative Rationality


Cena brutto: 7,00 PLN za szt.

In this article I argue for the existence of a deliberative core in the subject of decision and action. This idea is informed by both philosophical reflection and contemporary decision theory. Modern philosophy coined the concept of self-knowing subject (very different from its ancient and medieval predecessor) in order to tackle the problem of ascribing the whole content of cognition, decision or action to an individual. The new concept was supposed to secure the agency and responsibility of the acting person no matter how much this person might have been affected by determining forces. Subjectivity is a normative concept: it prescribes a way a person should think of herself if she wants to meet the criteria of agency and responsibility.

A number of contemporary philosophers have voiced objections against the notion of subject. It has been dismissed as overblown, loaded with unsupported assumptions, and morally suspicious as it imposes too rigid constraints on justification of human behavior, and by doing so, it impedes personal freedom and self-expression. I discuss recent books by Barbara Tuchańska and Szymon Wróbel, who aim at critical delimitation of the notion of rational subject. In response to this criticism I argue that subjects constitute themselves prospectively: in future oriented decision making processes, especially in those under uncertainty. Subjects may be interpreted as correlates of ordered sets of preferences and subjective probability assessments. My natural ally here is the subjective approach to decision making, which was defended by Frank Ramsey, Bruno de Finetti, Leonard Savage, and Richard Jeffrey. To be sure this theory has a formal character and necessarily downplays the psychological constraints of human decision making. It is almost certain that we do not order our preferences logically before we make a decision. However, one can still hold to the idea of ordering as a normative notion: a rational, deliberative core of human decision and action. I also claim that future oriented, deliberative stance constitutes the proper domain of self-knowledge.

Keywords: decision, self-knowing subject, action, acting subject, decision theory, agency, responsibility, freedom, self-knowledge

Contact: Katedra Teorii Poznania, Sekcja Teorii Poznania i Filozofii Języka, Instytut Filozofii,
Wydział Filozofii Chrześcijańskiej,
ul. Wóycickiego 1/3, 01-938 Warsaw, Poland

E-mail: r.pilat@uksw.edu.pl
Phone: +48 22 5696801
http://www.filozofia.uksw.edu.pl/node/124



Pliki do pobrania:

» 112pilat.pdf


  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 12.00
  3. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  4. DOI Prefix 10.12887