[If any readers feel like wading through this 5000 word
monster of an essay, any constructive comments/criticism would be greatly appreciated!]
Let us assume a broadly Consequentialist framework: Certain states of affairs have value, making them worthy of our pursuit. By failing to pursue the good, one thereby reveals that they suffer some defect in their rational awareness. Perhaps they are ignorant of the descriptive facts, or perhaps they fail to appreciate how those facts provide them with normative reasons for action. We would expect neither defect to beset a fully informed and perfectly rational agent. Ideal rationality entails being moved by reasons, or being motivated to pursue the good. But what of those goods that elude direct approach? Could one rationally aim at them in full knowledge that this would doom one to failure? Conversely, aiming wholeheartedly at an inherently worthless goal seems in some sense misguided or irrational. But what if doing so would better achieve the elusive good? Does rationality then recommend that we make ourselves irrational, blinding ourselves to the good in order to better achieve it?
Such questions may motivate a distinction between ‘global’ (holistic) and ‘local’ (atomistic) rationality: pitting the whole temporally extended person against their momentary stages. This essay explores the distinction and argues that the usual exclusive focus on local rationality is misguided. Global optimality may sometimes require us to do other than what seems optimific within the confines of a moment. Holistic rationality, as I envisage it, tells us to adopt a broader view, transcending the boundaries of the present and identifying with a timeless perspective instead. It further requires that we be willing to treat the dictates of this broader perspective as rationally authoritative, no matter how disadvantageous this may seem from the particular perspective of our local moment. This amounts to an intrapersonal analogue of the ‘social contract’: each of our momentary stages abdicates some degree of rational autonomy, in order to enhance the rationality and autonomy of our person as a whole.
I will begin by sketching an understanding of reasons and rationality, or the objective and subjective normative modes. Next, the general problem of elusive goods and globally optimal indirect strategies will be introduced by way of indirect utilitarianism. After clarifying the Parfitian paradox of “blameless wrongdoing”, I will show how epistemic principles of meta-coherence may undermine this particular application of the local/global distinction, though there remain cases involving “essential byproducts” which escape this objection. These issues will be further clarified through an exploration of the distinction between object- and state-based modes of assessment. Finally, I present a class of game-theoretic cases that present a paradox for local rationality, which can be resolved by embracing the more holistic understanding sketched above.
Reasons and Rationality
Reasons are provided by facts that count in favour of an action. For example, if a large rock is about to hit the back of your head, then this is a reason for you to duck, even if you are unaware of it. As this example suggests, the objective notion I have in mind is largely independent of our beliefs. As inquiring agents, we try to discover what reasons for action we have, and hence what we should do. Such inquiry would be redundant according to subjective accounts, which restrict reasons to things that an agent already believes. Instead, I use the term ‘reason’ in the sense that is closely tied to notions of value. In general, we will have reason to bring about good states of affairs, and to prevent bad ones from obtaining. I take it as analytic that we have most reason to do what is best. We may also say that this is what one ought, in the reason-implying sense, to do.
There is another sense of ‘ought’, tied to the subjective or evidence-based notion of rationality rather than the objective or fact-based notion of ‘reasons’. Sometimes the evidence can be misleading, so that what seems best is not really so. In such cases, we may say that one rationally ought to do what seems best, given the available evidence. But due to their ignorance of the facts, they would not be doing what they actually have most reason to do. Though they couldn’t know it, some alternative action would have been better in fact.
This raises the question of what to do when reasons and rationality diverge. Suppose that someone ought, in the reason-implying sense, to X, but that they rationally ought to Y. Which takes precedence? What is it that they really ought to do? There is some risk of turning this into a merely terminological dispute. I am not concerned with the meaning of the word ‘ought’, or which of the previous two senses has greater claim to being the “true meaning” of the word. But we can make some substantive observations here. In particular, I think that the reason-involving sense of ‘ought’ is arguably the more fundamental normative concept. This is because it indicates the deeper goal, or what agents are ultimately seeking.
The purpose of deliberation is to identify the best choice, or reach the correct conclusion. In practice, we do this by settling on what seems to us to be best. But we do not think that the appearances have any independent force, over and above the objective facts. We seek to perform the best action, not merely the best-seeming one. Of course, from our first-personal perspective we cannot tell the two apart. That which seems best to us is what we take to truly be best. Belief is, in this sense, “transparent to truth”. Because our beliefs all seem true to us, the rational choice will always seem to us to also be the best one. We can thus take ourselves to be complying with the demands of both rationality and fact-based reasons. Nevertheless, it is the latter that we really care about.
This is especially clear in epistemology. We seek true beliefs, not justified ones. Sure, we would usually take ourselves to be going wrong if our beliefs conflicted with the available evidence. Such conflict would indicate that our beliefs were likely false. But note that it is the falsity, and not the mere indication thereof, that we are ultimately concerned with. More generally, for any given goal, we will be interested in evidence that suggests to us how to attain the goal. We will tend to be guided by such evidence. But this does not make following the evidence itself our ultimate goal. Ends and evidence are intimately connected, but they are not the same thing. Normative significance accrues in the first instance to our ends, whereas evidence is merely a means: we follow it for the sake of the end, which we know not how else to achieve. Applied to the particular case of reasons and rationality, then, it becomes clear that the reasons provide the real goal, whereas rationality is the guiding process by which we aim to achieve it. Since arriving at the intended destination is ultimately more important than faithfully following the guide, we may conclude that the reason-implying sense of ‘ought’ takes normative precedence. I will use this as my default sense of ‘ought’ in what follows.
Indirect Utilitarianism and Blameless Wrongdoing
Act Utilitarianism is the thesis that we ought to act in such a way as to maximize the good. Paradoxically, it is likely the case that if people tried to act like good utilitarians, this would in fact have very bad consequences. For example, authorities might engage in torture or frame innocent persons whenever they believed that doing so would cause more good than harm. Such beliefs might often be mistaken, however, and with disastrous consequences. Let us suppose that attempting to directly maximize utility will generally backfire. Utilitarianism then seems to imply that it is wrong to be a utilitarian. But the conclusion that utilitarianism is self-defeating only follows if we fail to distinguish between criterions of rightness and decision procedures.
We typically conceive of ethics as a practically oriented field: a good moral theory should be action-guiding, or tell us how to act. So when utilitarianism claims that the right action is that which maximizes utility, it is natural for us to read this as saying that we should try to maximize utility. But utilitarianism as defined above does not claim that we ought to try to maximize utility. Rather, it claims that we should achieve this end. If one were to try and fail, then their action would be wrong, according to the act-utilitarian criterion. This seems to be in tension with the general principle, introduced above, that we rationally ought to aim at the good. The utilitarian criterion instead tells us to have whatever aims would be most successful at attaining the good. This is not necessarily the same thing. The distinction will be clarified in the section on ‘object- and state-based modes of assessment’, later in this essay. For now, simply note that the best consequences might result from a steadfast commitment to human rights, say, and a strong aversion to violating them even if doing so appears expedient. In this case, the utilitarian criterion tells us that we should inculcate such anti-utilitarian practical commitments.
This indicates a distinction between two levels of normative moral thought: the practical and the theoretical. Our practical morality consists of those principles and commitments that guide us in our everyday moral thinking and engage our moral emotions and intuitions. This provides our moral decision procedure. It is often enough to note that an action would violate our commitment to honesty, for instance, to settle the question of whether we should perform it. This is not the place for cold calculation of expected utilities. They instead belong on the theoretical level. We wish to determine which of our intuitive practical principles and commitments are well-justified ones. And here we may appeal to indirect utilitarianism to ground our views. Honesty is good because (we may suppose) being honest will do a better job of making the world a better place than would being a scheming and opportunistic direct utilitarian. The general picture on offer is this: we use utility as a higher-order criterion for picking out the best practical morality, and then we live according to the latter. Maximizing utility is the ultimate goal, but we do well to adopt a more reliable indirect strategy – and even other first-order “goals” – in order to achieve it.
What shall we say of those situations where the goal and the strategy conflict? Consider a rare case wherein torturing a terrorist suspect really would have the best consequences. Such an act would then be right, according to the utilitarian criterion. Yet our practical morality advises against it, and ex hypothesi we ought to live according to those principles. Does this imply a contradiction: the right action ought not to be done? Only if we assume a further principle of normative transmission:
(T) If you ought to accept a strategy S, and S tells you to X, then you ought to X.
This is plausible for the rational sense of ‘ought’, but not the reason-involving sense that I am using here. We might have most reason to adopt a strategy – because it will more likely see us right than any available alternative – without thereby implying that the strategy is perfect, i.e. that everything it prescribes really is the objectively best option. S might on occasion be misleading, and then we could have more reason to not do X, though we remain unaware of this fact. So we should reject (T), and accept the previously described scenario as consistent. To follow practical morality in such a case, and refrain from expedient torture, would constitute what Parfit calls “blameless wrongdoing”. The agent fails to do what they have most moral reason to do, so the act is wrong. But the agent herself has the best possible motives and dispositions, and could say, “Since this is so, when I do act wrongly in this way, I need not regard myself as morally bad.”
Parfit’s solution may be clarified by appealing to my earlier distinction between local and global rationality. Our ‘local’ assessment looks at the particular act, and condemns it for sub-optimality. The ‘global’ perspective considers the agent as a whole, with particular concern for the long-term outcomes obtained by consistent application of any given decision-procedure. From this perspective, the agent is (ex hypothesi) entirely praiseworthy. The apparently conflicting judgments are consistent because they are made in relation to different standards or modes of assessment. I have illustrated this with the example of indirect utilitarianism, but the general principle will apply whenever some end is best achieved by indirect means. More generally than “blameless wrongdoing”, we will have various forms of (globally) optimal (local) sub-optimality.
Meta-coherence and Essential Byproducts
The above discussion focuses on the reason-involving sense of ‘ought’. Let us now consider the problem in terms of what one rationally ought to do. Rationality demands that we aim at the good, or do what seems best, i.e. maximize expected utility. But the whole idea of the indirect strategy is to be guided by reliable rules rather than direct utility calculations. One effectively commits to occasionally acting irrationally (in the “local” sense), though it is rational – subjectively optimal – to make this commitment. Parfit thus calls it “rational irrationality”. But we may question whether expected utility could really diverge from the reliable rules after all.
Sometimes we may be in a position to realize that our initial judgments should be revised. I may initially be taken in a visual illusion, and falsely believe that the two lines I see are of different lengths. Learning how the illusion worked would undercut the evidence of my senses. I would come to see that the prima facie evidence was misleading, and the belief I formed on its basis likely false. Principles of meta-coherence suggest that it would be irrational to continue accepting the appearances after learning them to be deceptive, or more generally to hold a belief concurrently with the meta-belief that the former is unjustified or otherwise likely false. This principle has important application to our current discussion.
We adopt the indirect strategy because we recognize that our direct first-order calculations are unreliable. The over-zealous sheriff might think that torturing a terrorist suspect would have high expected utility. But if he recalls his own unreliability on such matters, he should lower the expected utility accordingly. As a good indirect utilitarian, he believes that in situations subjectively indiscernible from his own, the best results will generally be obtained by respecting human rights and following a strict “no torture” policy. Taking this higher-order information into account, he should revise his earlier judgment and instead reach the all-things-considered conclusion that refraining from torture maximizes expected utility even for this particular act. This seems to collapse the distinction between local and global rationality. When all things are considered, the former will come to conform to the latter.
This will not always be the case, however. A crucial feature of the present example is that one can consciously recognize the ultimate goal at the back of their mind, even as they employ an indirect strategy in its pursuit. But what if the pursuit of some good required that we make ourselves more thoroughly insensitive to it? Jon Elster calls such goods “essential byproducts”, and examples might include spontaneity, sleep, acting unselfconsciously, and other such mental absences. Such goods are not susceptible to momentary rational pursuit. Higher-order considerations are no help here: we cannot achieve these goods while intentionally following indirect strategies that we consider more reliable. Rather, to achieve them we must relinquish any conscious intention of doing so. As we relax and begin to drift off to sleep, we cannot concurrently conceive of our mental inactivity as a means to this end. One cannot achieve a mental absence by having it “in mind” in the way required for the means-ends reasoning I take to be constitutive of rationality. In the event of succeeding, one could no longer be locally rational in their pursuit of the essential byproduct, for they would not at that moment be intentionally pursuing it at all.
Nevertheless, there remains an important sense in which a person is perfectly rational to have their momentary selves abdicate deliberate pursuit of these ends. If we attribute the goal of nightly sleep to the whole temporally extended person, then this abdication is precisely what sensible pursuit of the goal entails. In this sense, we can understand the whole person as acting deliberately even when their momentary self does not. So the distinction is upheld: global rationality recommends that we simply give up on trying to remain locally rational when we want to get some rest.
Object- and State-based modes of assessment
Oddly enough, even local rationality recommends surrendering itself in such circumstances. From the local perspective of the moment, pursuit of the goal is best advanced by ensuring that one’s future self refrains from such deliberate pursuit. Does this mean that one rationally should cease to value and pursue the good? The puzzle arises because mental states are subject to two very different modes of assessment: one focusing on the object of the mental state, and the other focusing on the state itself. Suppose an eccentric billionaire offers you a million dollars for believing that the world is flat. The object of belief, i.e. the proposition that the world is flat, does not merit belief. But this state of belief would, in such a case, be a worthwhile one to have. In this sense we might think there are reasons for (having the state of) believing, which are not reasons for (the truth of) the thing believed. It seems plausible that desire aims at value in much the same way as belief aims at truth. Hence, indications of value could provide object-based reasons for intention or desire – much as indications of truth provide object-based reasons for belief – whereas the utility of having the desire in question could provide state-based reasons for it. This is the difference between an object’s being worthy of desire, and a desire for the object being a state worth having.
There are various theories about what reasons we have for acting, and hence what objects merit our pursuit. For example, we may call “Instrumentalism” the claim that we have reason to fulfill our own present desires, whatever they may be. Egoism claims that we have most reason to advance our own self-interest. And Impartialism says that we have equal reason to advance each person’s interests. For any such account of reasons, we can pair it with a corresponding account of object-based local rationality, based on the following general schema:
(G) Rationality is a matter of pursuing the good, i.e. being moved by the appearance of those facts ____ that provide us with reasons for action.
Let us say that S has a quasi-reason to X, on the basis of some non-normative proposition p, when the following two conditions are satisfied: (i) S believes that p; and (ii) if p were true then this would provide a reason for S to X. We may then understand (G) as the claim that one rationally ought to do what one has most quasi-reason to do.
The different theories posit different reasons, so different quasi-reasons, and hence different specifications of local rationality in this sense. For example, according to Egoism, agents are locally rational insofar as they seek to advance their own interests. There is a sense in which the theory thereby claims this to be the supremely rational aim. But let us suppose that having such an aim would foreseeably cause one’s life to go worse, as per “the paradox of hedonism”. Egoism then implies that we would be irrational to knowingly harm ourselves by having this aim. This conclusion seems to contradict the original claim that this aim is “supremely rational”. The theory seems to be not merely self-effacing, but downright inconsistent.
The distinction between object- and state-based assessments may help resolve this problem. We might say that an aim embodies rationality in virtue of its object, in that it constitutes supreme sensitivity to one’s quasi-reasons. Or the aim might be recommended by rationality, in the sense that one’s quasi-reasons tell one to have this aim, in virtue of the mental state itself. As before, the apparent incoherence can be traced to the conflation of two distinct modes of assessment. The aforementioned theories should be interpreted as claiming that their associated aims supremely embody rationality, even though it might not be rationally recommended to embody rationality in such a way. This reflects the coherent possibility that something might be desirable – worthy of desire – even if the desire itself would, for extrinsic reasons, be a bad state to have.
It is worth noting that this distinction appears to hold independently of the local/global distinction. We might, for example, imagine a good that would be denied to anyone who ever entertained it as a goal. If one sought it via the standard “globally rational” method of preventing one’s future momentary selves from deliberate “locally rational” pursuit, it would already be too late. There is no rational way at all, on any level, to pursue the good. Still, being of value, the good might merit pursuit. It might even provide reasons of sorts, even if one could never recognize them as such. (For example, one would plausibly have reason not to entertain the good as a goal. But one could not recognize this reason without thereby violating it, for it would only move an agent who sought the very goal it warns against.) So although the object/state distinction may recommend a shift from local to global rationality, it further establishes that even the latter may, in special circumstances, be disadvantageous. Reasons and rationality may come apart, even when no ignorance is involved, because it may be best to achieve a good without ever recognizing it as such. This would provide reasons that elude our rational grasp, being such that we ought to act unwittingly rather than by grasping the reason that underlies this very ‘ought’-fact.
We have seen how various distinctions, including that between the local and global levels of rationality, can help us make sense of the indirect pursuit of goods. If we know our first-order judgments to be unreliable, then meta-coherence will lead us to be skeptical of those judgments. Indirect utilitarianism stems from recognizing that expected utility is better served by instead following a more reliable – globally optimal – strategy, even if this at times conflicts with our first-order judgments of expedience. Global rationality paves the way for utilitarian respect for rights, and meta-coherence carries it over to the local level. Essential byproducts highlight the distinction, as we may understand such a goal as being rationally pursued at the level of the temporally extended person, but not at the level of every momentary stage or temporal part. Although the object/state distinction implies that even global rationality may be imperfect, the preceding cases suggest that we would do well at least to prize the global perspective over the local one. I now want to support this conclusion by considering a further class of problems that could be fruitfully analyzed as pitting the unified agent against their momentary selves.
Consider Newcomb’s Problem: a highly reliable predictor presents you with two boxes, one containing $1000, and the other with contents unknown. You are offered the choice of either taking both boxes, or else just the unknown one. You are told that the predictor will have put $1,000,000 in the opaque box if she earlier predicted you would pick only that; otherwise she will have left it empty. Either way, the contents are now fixed. Should you take one box or both? From the momentary perspective of local rationality, the answer seems clear: the contents are fixed, it’s too late to change them now, so you might as well take both. Granted, one would do better to be the sort of person who would pick only one box. That is the rationally recommended dispositional state. But taking both is the choice that embodies rationality, from this perspective. This reasoning predictably leads to a mere $1000 prize. Suppose one instead adopted a more global perspective, giving weight to the kind of reasoning that, judging from the timeless perspective, one wants one’s momentary stages to employ. The globally rational agent is willing to commit to being a one-boxer, and so will make that choice even when it seems locally suboptimal. This predictably leads to the $1,000,000 prize, which was unattainable for the locally rational agent.
Similar remarks apply to Kavka’s toxin puzzle. Suppose that you would be immediately rewarded upon forming the intention to later drink a mild toxin that would cause you some discomfort. Since you will already have received your reward by then, there would seem no reason for the locally rational agent to carry out their intention. Recognizing this, they cannot even form the intention to begin with. (You cannot intend to do something that you know you will not do.) Again we find that local rationality disqualifies one from attaining something of value. The globally rational agent, in contrast, is willing to follow through on earlier commitments even in the absence of local reasons. He wishes to be the kind of person who can reap such rewards, so he behaves accordingly. As Julian Nida-Rumelin writes: “It is perfectly rational to refrain from point-wise optimization because you do not wish to live the life which would result.”
In both these cases, the benefits of global rationality require that one be disposed to follow through on past commitments. One must tend to recognize one’s past reasons as also providing reasons for one’s present self. This allows one to overcome problems, such as the above, which are based on a localized object/state distinction. But occasional violation of this disposition might allow one to receive the benefits without the associated cost. (One might receive the reward for forming the sincere intention to drink the toxin, only to later surprise oneself by refusing to drink it after all.) So let us now consider an even stronger sort of case that goes beyond the object/state distinction and hence demands more than the mere disposition of global rationality. Instead, the benefits will accrue only to those who follow through on their earlier resolutions.
Pollock’s Ever Better Wine improves with age, without limit. Suppose you possess a bottle, and are immortal. When should you drink the wine? Local rationality implies that you should never drink it, for at any given time you would do better to postpone it another day. But to never drink it at all is the worst possible result! Or consider Quinn’s Self-Torturer, who receives $10,000 each time he increases his pain level by an indiscernible increment. It sounds like a deal worth taking. But suppose that the combined effect of a thousand increments would leave him in such agony that no amount of money could compensate. Because each individual increment is – from the local perspective of the moment – worth taking, local rationality will again lead one to the worst possible result. A good result is only possible for agents who are willing to let their global perspective override local calculations. The agent must make in advance a rational resolution to stop at some stage n, even though from the local perspective of stage n he would do better to continue on to stage n+1.
It seems clear that the global perspective is rationally superior. The agent can foresee the outcomes of his possible choices. If he endorses the local mode of reasoning then he will never have grounds to stop, and so will end up stuck with the worst possible outcome. It cannot be rational to accept this when other options are open to him. If he is instead resolute and holds firm to the choice – made from a global or timeless perspective – to stop at stage n, then he will do much better. Yet one might object that this merely pushes the problem back a step: how could one rationally resolve to choose n rather than n+1 in the first place?
The problem of Buridan’s ass, caught between two equally tempting piles of hay, shows that rational agents must be capable of making arbitrary decisions. It cannot be rational for the indecisive ass to starve to death in its search for the perfect decision. Indeed, once cognitive costs are taken into account, it becomes clear that all-things-considered expected utility is better served by first-order satisficing than attempted optimizing. (“The perfect is the enemy of the good,” as the saying goes.) Applying this to the above cases, we should settle on some n, any n, that is good enough. Once we have made such a resolution, we can reject the challenge, “why not n+1?” by noting that if we were to grant that increment then we would have no basis to reject the next ones, ad infinitum, and that would lead us to the worst outcome.
The standard picture of rationality is thoroughly atomistic. It views agents as momentary entities, purely forward-looking from their localized temporal perspective. In this essay, I have presented and prescribed an alternative, more holistic view. I propose that we instead ascribe agency primarily to the whole temporally extended person, rather than to each temporal stage in isolation. This view allows us to make sense of the rational pursuit of essential byproducts, since we may ascribe deliberate purpose to a whole person even if it is absent from the minds of some individual stages. Moreover, global rationality sheds light on the insights of indirect utilitarianism, though meta-coherence allows that these conclusions may also become accessible from a temporally localized perspective. Finally, I have argued that there are cases where reasoning in the locally “rational” manner of point-wise optimization leads to disaster. Such disaster can be avoided if the agents embrace my holistic conception of rational agency, acting only in ways that they could endorse from a global or timeless perspective. Persons are more than the sum of their isolated temporal parts; if we start acting like it then we may do better than traditional decision theorists would think rationally possible.
 Harsanyi, p.122, seems to be getting at a similar idea in his discussion of the “normal mode” of playing a game.
 Of course we can imagine special circumstances whereby one’s holding of a belief would itself be the reason-giving ‘fact’ in question. If I am sworn to honesty, then the fact that I believe that P may provide a reason for me to assert that P.
 I leave open the question of whether such value is impersonal or agent-relative.
 Parfit (ms), p.21. I also follow Parfit’s use of the term “rationally ought”, below.
 Here I am indebted to discussion with Clayton Littlejohn.
 Cf. Kolodny’s “transparency account” of rationality’s apparent normativity.
 This is a familiar enough distinction, see e.g. the Stanford Encyclopedia entry on ‘Rule Consequentialism’, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consequentialism-rule/#4 [accessed 21/6/06].
 The following is strongly influenced by R.M. Hare.
 Hare, p.38.
 Parfit (1987), pp.31-35. But cf. my section on ‘meta-coherence’ below.
 Ibid., p.32. (N.B. Here I quote the words that Parfit attributes to his fictional agent ‘Clare’.)
 Ibid., p.13.
 I owe the idea of “meta-coherence” to Michael Huemer. See, e.g.:
http://bengal-ng.missouri.edu/~kvanvigj/certain_doubts/?p=394 (accessed 16/6/06)
 Two further points bear mentioning: (1) We might construct a new distinction in this vicinity, between prima facie and all things considered judgments, where the former allows only first-order evidence, and the latter includes meta-beliefs about reliability and such. This bears some relation to ‘local’ vs. ‘global’ considerations, and again I think the latter deserves to be more widely recognized. Nevertheless, I take it to be distinct from the “momentary act vs. temporally-extended agent” form of the local/global distinction, which this essay is more concerned with. (2) Even though a meta-coherent local calculation should ultimately reinforce the indirect strategy, that’s not to say that one should actually carry out such a decision procedure. The idea of indirect utilitarianism is instead that one acts on the dispositions recommended by our practical morality, rather than having one “always undertake a distinctively consequentialist deliberation” [Railton, p.166]. So my local/global distinction could apply to indirect utilitarianism after all.
 Elster, pp.43-52.
 Cf. Parfit (ms), p.30.
 Musgrave, p.21.
 This evidence-based notion is another common use of the term “reasons”. But in light of my earlier remarks, we should instead hold that objective reasons are provided by the ultimate facts, not mere “indications” thereof. The more subjective or evidence-based “reasons” might instead be conceptually tied to rationality, as per my “quasi-reasons” below.
 Indeed, Parfit (1987) takes this as the “central claim” of the self-interest theory.
 Railton, p.156.
 Cf. Dancy, p.11.
 Nozick, p.41.
 Kavka, pp.33-36.
 Nida-Rumelin, p.13.
 From a local perspective, the state of intending is worth having, even though the object (e.g. the act of drinking Kavka’s toxin) does not in itself merit intending. The problem arises because we regulate our mental states on the basis of object-based reasons alone (as seen by the impossibility of inducing belief at will). The global perspective overcomes this by treating past reasons for intending as present reasons for acting, and hence transforming state-based reasons into object-based ones.
 For more on the importance of rational resolutions, see McClennen, pp.24-25.
 Sorensen, p.261.
 Quinn, pp.79-90.
 Sorensen, p.270.
 Weirich, p.391.
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