Olof Leffler


Constitutivist approaches to the normativity of rationality have recently come into vogue. Unlike their moral counterparts, however, they have not been confronted with the shmagency objection. In this paper, I challenge them with two versions of the objection based on recent developments in the debate surrounding the normativity of morality. These are shmagency as modal escapability, which is based on taking sophisticated shmagents to be able to modally escape various norms, and shmagency as underdetermination, which is based on taking constitutive norms that allegedly have independent value to be underdetermined by that value. I consider three different kinds of constitutivist theories of the normativity of rationality: first-person-authority views, single-mental-state views, and systems-of-mental-states views. None of the three are able to deal with either of these shmagency objections. There are sophisticated shmagents who escape all these types of constitutivist principles of rationality, so they are modally escapable, and the value of rationality underdetermines all the views. Upshot: constitutivists about structural rationality ought to worry about shmagency.



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