Xinkan Zhao


In this discussion note, I argue that the philosophers who propose solutions to the 'now what' problem for error theory typically face a goal problem. The problem has its root in the argument they back up their proposal with, which is one of instrumental reason, consisting of two premises. First, we as normal agents have a certain set of goals; second, agents with this set of goals instrumentally should accept their proposal. I argue that when we specify the set of goals with sufficient detail so that the second premise comes out true, the first premise will most likely come out false. These philosophers could retreat to a conditional solution, but that comes with the cost of the solution being less non-trivial; instead, they may try to establish the truth of the first premise, but that requires sufficient empirical investigation that no armchair speculation will suffice.


Discussion Notes