Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 983–997 | Cite as

What Carroll’s Tortoise Actually Proves

  • Jan Willem Wieland


Rationality requires us to have certain propositional attitudes (beliefs, intentions, etc.) given certain other attitudes that we have. Carroll’s Tortoise repeatedly shows up in this discussion. Following up on Brunero (Ethical Theory Moral Pract 8:557–569, 2005), I ask what Carroll-style considerations actually prove. This paper rejects two existing suggestions, and defends a third.


Rationality Attitude Obligation Regress Carroll Tortoise 



I am grateful to: Erik Weber and the referees of the journal for extensive feedback. The author is PhD fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Moral ScienceGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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