Collective intentionality and practical reason
In this chapter I am interested in the conceptual relation between the claim that practical reason just is or reduces to instrumental reason (I will call this position "instrumentalism about practical reason") and the claim that the real problem of instrumental rationality is not its instrumentalism about practical reason but its "individualism about goals". I understand this to mean that the problem of instrumental rationality is not its consequentialist aspect that agents have preferences only over outcomes (but not over actions) but its individualist implication about motivation: that agents can be motivated only by their own desires. According to such an interpretation of the problem of instrumental rationality, collective intentionality is seen as providing the solution: it frees instrumentalism from its individualism while preserving its consequentialism. That is, the sort of normativity characteristic of collective intentionality will still be instrumental normativity. My aim in this chapter is twofold: I will first argue that instrumentalism about practical reason has fundamental difficulties in showing how reasons can be guiding for self-conscious rational beings. From there I depart to show, second, that this has to do with the fact that the instrumentalist concept of human self-relation as instrumentally normative fails to show how human agency can be what it must be in order to function well, i.e. to be unified. Therefore the sort of normativity characteristic of collective intentionality cannot be instrumental rationality.
Gloor, J. (2014)., Collective intentionality and practical reason, in A. Konzelmann-Ziv & H. B. Schmid (eds.), Institutions, emotions, and group agents, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 297-312.
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