Date of Award

May 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Edward S. Hinchman

Committee Members

Luca Ferrero, Joshua Spencer


In this paper I propose an account of attitudinal commitments which flow from avowed beliefs and intentions. I distinguish my account from Thomas Scanlon’s account of attitudinal commitments on which our beliefs about normative reasons are the source of these commitments. In my view, attitudinal commitments result from avowal of certain attitudes and are best understood in terms of the attitudinal integrity of agents with respect to those attitudes. Rationality, I argue, is a matter of maintaining coherence among our attitudes in ways sensitive to the attitudinal commitments we undertake.

My account of attitudinal commitments makes room for progress on a question which is the ultimate focus of this paper, namely, the question of the scope of rational requirements. Concerning the conditional requirements of rationality, the question of scope arises, i.e., whether these requirements have a wide or narrow scope. Both wide and narrow scope rational requirements have their shortcomings. However, once we accept the correct account of attitudinal commitments, I argue that a theory of rationality can make progress beyond the shortcomings of wide and narrow scope requirements of rationality. I provide the outline of such a theory.

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