Theoretical and Practical Reason: A Critical Rationalist View

Abstract
If the task of theoretical reason is to discover truth or reasons for belief, then theoretical reason is impossible. Attempts to circumvent this by appeal to probabilities are self-defeating. If the task of practical reason is to discover what we ought to do or what actions are desirable or valuable, then practical reason is impossible. Appeal to the subjective ought is self-defeating and often gives either a wrong answer or a self-contradictory one. I argue that the task of theoretical reason is to decide which propositions to instate; and that the task of practical reason is to decide which ought-propositions to act on. As a consequence theoretical reason is seen as a branch of practical reason. This approach makes both theoretical and practical reason practicable and free of the defects of the usual accounts.
Keywords evaluation scheme  instate  Popper  practical reason  pragmatic paradox  self-contradiction  theoretical reason  Kolodny  MacFarlane  subjective
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