David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
MIT Press (2003)
The study of rationality and practical reason, or rationality in action, has been central to Western intellectual culture. In this invigorating book, John Searle lays out six claims of what he calls the Classical Model of rationality and shows why they are false. He then presents an alternative theory of the role of rationality in thought and action. A central point of Searle's theory is that only irrational actions are directly caused by beliefs and desires—for example, the actions of a person in the grip of an obsession or addiction. In most cases of rational action, there is a gap between the motivating desire and the actual decision making. The traditional name for this gap is "freedom of the will." According to Searle, all rational activity presupposes free will. For rationality is possible only where one has a choice among various rational as well as irrational options. Unlike many philosophical tracts, Rationality in Action invites the reader to apply the author's ideas to everyday life. Searle shows, for example, that contrary to the traditional philosophical view, weakness of will is very common. He also points out the absurdity of the claim that rational decision making always starts from a consistent set of desires. Rational decision making, he argues, is often about choosing between conflicting reasons for action. In fact, humans are distinguished by their ability to be rationally motivated by desire-independent reasons for action. Extending his theory of rationality to the self, Searle shows how rational deliberation presupposes an irreducible notion of the self. He also reveals the idea of free will to be essentially a thesis of how the brain works.
|Keywords||Action Epistemology Model Philosophy Rationality|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Buy the book||$6.94 used (74% off) $15.83 new (40% off) $17.45 direct from Amazon (33% off) Amazon page|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Alfred R. Mele (2010). Testing Free Will. Neuroethics 3 (2):161-172.
Joshua Shepherd (2013). The Apparent Illusion of Conscious Deciding. Philosophical Explorations 16 (1):18 - 30.
Jeremy Schwartz (2010). Do Hypothetical Imperatives Require Categorical Imperatives? European Journal of Philosophy 18 (1):84-107.
M. Kissine (2009). Illocutionary Forces and What is Said. Mind and Language 24 (1):122-138.
Michael Rescorla (2009). Assertion and its Constitutive Norms. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (1):98-130.
Similar books and articles
Nader Saiedi (1987). A Critique of Habermas' Theory of Practical Rationality. Studies in East European Thought 33 (3):251-265.
John R. Searle, Barry Smith, Leo Zaibert & Josef Moural (2001). Rationality in Action: A Symposium. Philosophical Explorations 4 (2):66 – 94.
Thomas Pink (1996). The Psychology of Freedom. Cambridge University Press.
Xavier Vanmechelen (1998). Does Rationality Presuppose Irrationality. Philosophical Explorations 1 (2):126 – 139.
James H. Moor (1976). Rationality and the Social Sciences. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1976:3 - 11.
Lennart Nordenfelt (2007). Rationality and Compulsion: Applying Action Theory to Psychiatry. Oup Oxford.
Amy Peikoff (2003). Rational Action Entails Rational Desire: A Critical Review of Searle's Rationality in Action. Philosophical Explorations 6 (2):124 – 138.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads134 ( #9,098 of 1,692,891 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #59,677 of 1,692,891 )
How can I increase my downloads?