What is something rational that people disagree with

Structural Rationality - A Philosophical Essay on Practical Reason,

Nida RĂ¼melin: No, it's not quite like that. It is the case that I have been working on the subject of What is Practical Rationality? What is action and what is decision-making rationality? If you will, what is the rationality of a way of life? work (..) the point you made. I know it sounds like a contradiction in terms, but it isn't. Indeed, I have increasingly come to the opinion: the expectation that one could derive precise criteria from a theory of practical rationality, what is right and what is wrong in individual cases, the expectation will always be disappointed. And I think more, much more than what is shown in this little book, one cannot expect from this approach either.

Let's get to the problem a little more precisely: What does structural rationality mean? / - You also speak of structural reason and if I have understood that correctly, your main concern is that the motives of the individual in his actions, that these are to be incorporated into a larger context.

That's right. That goes to the heart of this approach. In everyday life, we are all ready to recognize certain limitations and to say: My options for action are within this framework, because that is the way of life I have chosen - or also consideration for other people and many other things and I am not ready for the sake of maximizing the consequences or for the sake of optimizing the individual decision, to destroy these structures - hence the term structural rationality.

So this structural rationality, it is not quite clear to me what it actually includes: Is that the assumption that human civilization or the human forms of life in our world, the North Atlantic, or perhaps also globally, are some kind of basic pattern in terms of rationality, they are, so to speak, thoroughly rationalized.

No, that's not behind it. There is something else behind this. There is no external point of view. There is no way to step out of the context of individual life and social life in order to develop external standards and criteria for the right way of life. For example, when we justify a certain decision, we refer to beliefs that we share with other people that we no longer justify ourselves, to life decisions made in advance, to existential decisions that are not in question. (..) This embedding, I'm concerned with this embedding.

You are trying to adjust your theory between two positions, between the position you call standard theory and which you refer to David Hume and the other position is the Kantian position. Is that correct: are you trying to strike a middle ground between these two?

I don't quite agree with that. For in one respect I go substantially beyond Kant. (..) I am possibly approaching a position as it was previously represented by the Stoa ... namely that all reasons, including the supposedly subjective ones, are also often in need of justification, namely whenever I have doubts myself or have other doubts and not only about morality, but also about so-called wisdom decisions. (..) And that is why I am not between David Hume and Immanuel Kant on this point, but on the other side of Immanuel Kant. I am even more Kantian than most Kantians. (..) A morality that approaches from the outside and loses all reference to the respective individual forms of life also loses its motivational force.

If I have understood correctly, you assume that all wishes are justifiable. Then how do you deal with the smoker who says he keeps smoking?

I don't think there is any point in questioning everything I do. In this respect, justification and justification are unnecessary. But sometimes you have doubts, doubts that you develop about your own motives or doubts from other people who say, say, what are you doing there, why then and so. And at that moment you have to check the judgment that first brings you to the action, what, which opinion actually prompted me to do that and not that. That has an element of the rationality check.

You also find out ... that the problem of the selective decision based on structural rationality arises on the one hand between the people with regard to other people, to situations and that this also relates to the person himself, with regard to the change in the course of life / that the desires change, so to speak, when you are young, when you are old. But I also find that a weighty argument at this point. How do you get the structural rationality between the ages without that - now I'll say it a bit casually - a kind of honest mediocrity provokes in his ways of life. If you structurally align yourself with your whole life - you have to be an Aristotelian who reflects on your position in old age - and what comes out, that would probably be a life that very many in this society, who are younger, do not in their younger years want. And when we think of the experience of psychoanalysis, there may be reasons to go to the disco.

Well, John Rawls is talking about rational life plans. That sounds very puritanically Protestant and is also not my conception of a reasonable life, of a good life, that one develops a life plan over the span of the expected period of time with which to live. I generally have an idea that says that we have to create a balance between the structures, the long-term rules within which our life takes place, on the one hand, and the specific experiences, decision-making situations in individual cases, in everyday life, which are repeatedly presented anew . And sensible decisions, an overall good way of life is not characterized by rigorism, i.e. a one-time determination, but is characterized by the fact that a sufficient degree of coherence is created, the tension between existential basic decisions and the flexibility that you need in order, for example, to make corrections again, to break new ground.

Who wins now in structural rationality, the strong or the weak. You say that strategic action can ultimately only be successful if it is shown to be cooperative. But of course you could also refer to a few cases where the strong have prevailed.

That is not the point. I don't doubt that at all. That is not to say that the ruthless egoist cannot succeed. He can have individual success. But a society of ruthless egoists is less successful for everyone involved than a society based on cooperation.