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Perception as Input and as Reason for Action

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2020

Isaac Levi*
Affiliation:
Columbia University
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Extract

John McDowell (1979) suggests that virtuous agents have a perceptual sensitivity allowing them to determine reliably what to do in any specific context of deliberation. Moreover, the reliable perception yields an accurate depiction not only of the facts of the situation but of the morally right act to do. Finally, the reliably kind behavior of a kind person

is not the outcome of a blind, non-rational habit or instinct, like the courageous behaviour- so called only by courtesy- of a lioness defending her cubs. Rather, that the situation requires a certain sort of behaviour is … his reason for behaving in that way, on each of the relevant occasions (331). Perception delivers a reason for action.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Authors 1995

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References

Hacking, I. (1980) “The Theory of Probable Inference: Neyman, Peirce and Braithwaite.” In Mellor, D.H. ed. Science Belief and Behaviour, Essays in honour of Braithwaite, R.B.Cambridge: Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
Levi, I. (1974) “On Indeterminate Probabilities,Journal of Philosophy 71 391418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Levi, I. (1980a) The Enterprise of Knowledge. Cambridge, MA: MIT PressGoogle Scholar
Levi, I. (1980b) “Induction as Self Correcting According to Peirce,” In Mellor, D.H. ed. Science, Belief and Behaviour, Essays in honour of Braithwaite, R.B.Cambridge: Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
Levi, I. (1986) Hard Choices. Cambridge: Cambridge University PressCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Levi, I. (1991) The Fixation of Belief and its Undoing. Cambridge University PressCrossRefGoogle Scholar
McDowell, J. (1979) “Virtue and Reason.The Monist 62 331-50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Seidenfeld, T. (1979) Philosophical Problems of Statistical Inference. Dordrecht: ReisdelGoogle Scholar
Williams, B. (1973) Problems of the Self. Cambridge: Cambridge University PressCrossRefGoogle Scholar

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