Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

Publication Date

9-2016

Volume

93

Issue

2

First Page

321

Last Page

347

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.

Abstract

This paper argues that, with certain provisos, predicting one's future actions is incompatible with rationally deliberating about whether to perform those actions. It follows that fully rational omniscient agents are impossible, since an omniscient being could never rationally deliberate about what to do (omniscient beings, the paper argues, will always meet the relevant provisos). Consequently, theories that explain practical reasons in terms of the choices of a perfectly rational omniscient agent must fail. The paper considers several ways of defending the possibility of an omniscient agent, and concludes that while some of these may work, they are inconsistent with the aim of explaining practical normativity by appeal to such an agent.

DOI

10.1111/phpr.12199

Language

English

Print ISSN

00318205

E-ISSN

19331592

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2015 Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, LLC.

Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Accepted Author Manuscript

Recommended Citation

Baker, D. (2015). Deliberators must be imperfect. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 93(2), 321-347. doi: 10.1111/phpr.12199

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