Philosophy Colloquium: Nicholas Southwood
Title: Feasibility as deliberative jurisdiction
Questions of feasibility are pervasive in social and political life. But what exactly does this preoccupation with feasibility amount to? In virtue of what does doing something count as feasible or infeasible? I suggest that doing something counts as feasible when and because it exhibits the modal profile that is required in order to play a certain kind of special role with regard to the exercise of practical reason. In particular, I suggest that the role of feasibility is to delimit the domain of our deliberative jurisdiction: the domain within which it is correct and incorrect to engage in deliberation about what to do. An account along these lines has been hinted at elsewhere. But it hasn’t been developed in any detail. My aim is to do just that. I shall begin by outlining the account. I shall then consider its implications for a number of enduring puzzles about feasibility. And I shall conclude by defending it from some difficult objections.