This paper discusses the approaches to reason, logic and their relationship by Frege, Nagel, Hanna, Cooper, it points out their limitations and outlines a naturalistic approach to the subject, hopefully not subject to those limitations.
Philosophers typically see the issue of free will and determinism in terms of a debate between two standard positions. Incompatibilism holds that freedom and responsibility require causal and metaphysical independence from the impersonal forces of nature. According to compatibilism, people are free and responsible as long as their actions are governed by their desires. In Freedom Within Reason, Susan Wolf charts a path between these traditional positions: We are not free and responsible, she argues, for actions that are governed (...) by desires that we cannot help having. But the wish to form our own desires from nothing is both futile and arbitrary. Some of the forces beyond our control are friends to freedom rather than enemies of it: they endow us with faculties of reason, perception, and imagination, and provide us with the data by which we come to see and appreciate the world for what it is. The independence we want, Wolf argues, is not independence from the world, but independence from forces that prevent or preclude us from choosing how to live in light of a sufficient appreciation of the world. The freedom we want is a freedom within reason and the world. (shrink)
The literature on theoretical reason has been dominated by epistemological concerns, treatments of practical reason by ethical concerns. This book overcomes the limitations of dealing with each separately. It sets out a comprehensive theory of rationality applicable to both practical and theoretical reason. In both domains, Audi explains how experience grounds rationality, delineates the structure of central elements, and attacks the egocentric conception of rationality. He establishes the rationality of altruism and thereby supports major moral principles. The (...) concluding part describes the pluralism and relativity his conception of rationality accommodates and, taking the unified account of theoretical and practical rationality in that light, constructs a theory of global rationality--the overall rationality of persons. Rich in narrative examples, intriguing analogies, and intuitively appealing arguments, this beautifully crafted book will spur advances in ethics and epistemology as well in philosophy of mind and action and the theory of rationality itself. (shrink)
In his critical works of the 1780's, Kant claims, seemingly inconsistently, that (1) theoretical and practical reason are one and the same reason, applied differently, (2) that he still needs to show that they are, and (3) that theoretical and practical reason are united. I first argue that current interpretations of Kant's doctrine of the unity of reason are insufficient. But rather than concluding that Kant’s doctrine becomes coherent only in the Critique of Judgment, I show (...) that the three statements are compatible, providing a new and more coherent account of Kant's 1780's doctrine of the unity of reason. (shrink)
Two centuries after they were published, Kant's ethical writings are as much admired and imitated as they have ever been, yet serious and long-standing accusations of internal incoherence remain unresolved. Onora O'Neill traces the alleged incoherences to attempts to assimilate Kant's ethical writings to modern conceptions of rationality, action and rights. When the temptation to assimilate is resisted, a strikingly different and more cohesive account of reason and morality emerges. Kant offers a "constructivist" vindication of reason and a (...) moral vision in which obligations are prior to rights and in which justice and virtue are linked. O'Neill begins by reconsidering Kant's conceptions of philosophical method, reason, freedom, autonomy and action. She then moves on to the more familiar terrain of interpretation of the Categorical Imperative, while in the last section she emphasizes differences between Kant's ethics and recent "Kantian" ethics, including the work of John Rawls and other contemporary liberal political philosophers. (shrink)
The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR) says that all contingent facts must have explanation. In this volume, the first on the topic in the English language in nearly half a century, Alexander Pruss examines the substantive philosophical issues raised by the Principle Reason. Discussing various forms of the PSR and selected historical episodes, from Parmenides, Leibnez, and Hume, Pruss defends the claim that every true contingent proposition must have an explanation against major objections, including Hume's imaginability argument and (...) Peter van Inwagen's argument that the PSR entails modal fatalism. Pruss also provides a number of positive arguments for the PSR, based on considerations as different as the metaphysics of existence, counterfactuals and modality, negative explanations, and the everyday applicability of the PSR. Moreover, Pruss shows how the PSR would advance the discussion in a number of disparate fields, including meta-ethics and the philosophy of mathematics. (shrink)
Kant's The Critique of Pure Reason is arguably the single most important philosophical work in Western philosophy. It is also one of the most difficult philosophical texts to study. This clear, straightforward guide to the Critique recasts Kant's thought in more familiar language, avoiding the technicalities that plague other secondary sources on Kant. Sebastian Gardner examines Kant's thought by contrasting two interpretive traditions--those of Strawson and Allison--while setting the Critique in the context of both pre-Kantian and post-Kantian philosophy. Ideal (...) for anyone coming to Kant's thought for the first time, this accessible guide will be vital reading for all students of Kant in philosophy. (shrink)
The paper addresses O'Neill's view that her version of Kant's Categorical Imperative, namely, the requirement of followability (RF), marks the supreme principle of reason; it takes issue with her claim that RF commits us to Kantian constructivism in practical philosophy. The paper distinguishes between two readings of RF: on a weak reading, RF ranges over all (practical) reasoning but does not commit to constructivism, and on a strong version RF commits to constructivism but fails to meet its own test, (...) and so is self-defeating. The paper argues that RF, if understood strongly, depends for its reasonableness on reasons that cannot coherently be required to meet RF, so that RF cannot be the supreme principle of reason. The paper considers several responses to this problem in order to suggest that RF depends for its reasonableness on perfectionist considerations. (shrink)
Constitutive arguments for the principles of practical reason attempt to justify normative requirements by claiming that we already accept them in so far as we are believers or agents. In two constitutive arguments for the requirement that we must will universally, Korsgaard attempts first to arrive at the requirement that we will universally from observations about the causality of the will, and secondly to establish that willing universally is constitutive of having a self. Some rational requirements may be established (...) by some version of this second argument, but the strategy does not seem promising when it comes to establishing the requirement that we will universally. I draw on the discussion of Korsgaard to highlight a challenge facing constitutive arguments in general. (shrink)
Normativity and the Will collects fourteen important papers on moral psychology and practical reason by R. Jay Wallace, one of the leading philosophers currently working in these areas. The papers explore the interpenetration of normative and psychological issues in a series of debates that lie at the heart of moral philosophy. Themes that are addressed include reason, desire, and the will; responsibility, identification, and emotion; and the relation between morality and other normative domains. Wallace's treatments of these topics (...) are at once sophisticated and engaging. Taken together, they constitute an advertisement for a distinctive way of pursuing issues in moral psychology and the theory of practical reason, and they articulate and defend a unified framework for thinking about those issues. The volume also features a helpful new introduction. (shrink)
These thirteen new, specially written essays by a distinguished international line-up of contributors, including some leading contemporary moral philosophers, give a rich and varied view of current work on ethics and practical reason. The three main perspectives on the topic, Kantian, Humean, and Aristotelian, are all well represented. Issues covered include: the connection between reason and motivation; the source of moral reasons and their relation to reasons of self-interest; the relation of practical reason to value, to freedom, (...) to responsibility, and to feelings. The editors' introduction provides a valuable introductory survey of the topic, putting the individual essays in context. Ethics and Practical Reason will be essential reading for scholars, postgraduates, and upper-level undergraduates working in this area. (shrink)
We call beliefs reasonable or unreasonable, justified or unjustified. What does this imply about belief? Does this imply that we are responsible for our beliefs and that we should be blamed for our unreasonable convictions? Or does it imply that we are in control of our beliefs and that what we believe is up to us? Reason Without Freedom argues that the major problems of epistemology have their roots in concerns about our control over and responsibility for belief. Owens (...) focuses on the arguments of Descartes, Locke and Hume--the founders of epistemology--and presents a critical discussion of the current trends in contemporary epistemology. He proposes that the problems we confront today - skepticism, the analysis of knowledge, and debates on epistemic justification can be tackled when we have understood the moral psychology of belief. (shrink)
The standard paradigm for mental causation is a person’s acting for a reason. Something happens - she intentionally φ’s - the occurrence of which we explain by citing a relevant belief or desire. In the present context, I simply take for granted the following two conditions on the appropriateness of this explanation. First, the agent φ’s _because_ she believes/desires what we say she does, where this is expressive of a _causal_ dependence.1 Second, her believing/desiring this gives her a _reason_ (...) for φ-ing: recognizing that she has this belief/desire makes her φ-ing intelligible as rational in the light of her other attitudes and circumstances. A further condition must be met, though, if this is to be a genuine psychological explanation, a case of her acting _for_ the reason in question. Consider the following example of Davidson’s (1973, p. 79). An exhausted climber is desperate to rid herself of the weight and danger of holding her partner on a rope; and her sudden realization that simply letting go would achieve this so unnerves her that her grip loosens slightly and he falls. Her releasing him causally depends upon her having this belief and desire, which provide _a_ reason for doing what she does. But this is not _why_ she does it: it would be at best misleading to say that she dropped him, intentionally, because she was fed up with holding his weight, or because she thought that she might otherwise fall. Her letting go does not depend upon her having these reasons in the right way. The reason-giving relation is causally irrelevant. If we are to explain a person’s acting _for_ a reason, then her doing. (shrink)
One of the cornerstone books of Western philosophy, Critique of Pure Reason is Kant's seminal treatise, where he seeks to define the nature of reason itself and builds his own unique system of philosophical thought with an approach known as transcendental idealism. He argues that human knowledge is limited by the capacity for perception and attempts a logical designation of two varieties of knowledge: a posteriori, the knowledge acquired through experience; and a priori, knowledge not derived through experience. (...) This accurate translation by J. M. D. Meiklejohn offers a simple and direct rendering of Kant's work that is suitable for readers at all levels. (shrink)
I am writing a mediocre paper on a topic you are not particularly interested in. You don't have, it seems safe to assume, a (normative) reason to read my draft. I then ask whether you would be willing to have a look and tell me what you think. Suddenly you do have a (normative) reason to read my draft. What exactly happened here? Your having the reason to read my draft – indeed, the very fact that there (...) is such a reason – depends, it seems, on my having asked you to read it. By my asking, I managed to make it the case that you have such a reason, or to give you the reason to read the draft. What does such reason-giving consist in? And how is it that we can do it? In the next section, I distinguish between purely epistemic reason-giving, merely triggering reason-giving, and the kind of reason-giving I will be primarily interested in, the kind presumably involved in requests, which I call robust reasongiving. Then, in section 3, I try to characterize in some detail the intuitive or phenomenological data. I try, in other words, to clarify what it is we want an account of robust reason-giving to accommodate. But at the end of section 3 it remains entirely open whether any possible account in fact satisfies the desiderata elaborated in that section. In section 4 I thus proceed to inquire whether such an account is there to be found. I argue that the only plausible way of making sense of robust reason-. (shrink)
The paper argues that existing interpretations of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason as an "analysis of experience" (e.g., those of Kitcher and Strawson) fail because they do not properly appreciate the method of the work. The author argues that the Critique provides an analysis of the faculty of reason, and counts as an analysis of experience only in a derivative sense.
Does action always arise out of desire? G. F. Schueler examines this hotly debated topic in philosophy of action and moral philosophy, arguing that once two senses of "desire" are distinguished - roughly, genuine desires and pro attitudes - apparently plausible explanations of action in terms of the agent's desires can be seen to be mistaken. Desire probes a fundamental issue in philosophy of mind, the nature of desires and how, if at all, they motivate and justify our actions. At (...) least since Hume argued that reason "is and of right ought to be the slave of the passions," many philosophers have held that desires play an essential role both in practical reason and in the explanation of intentional action. G. F. Schueler looks at contemporary accounts of both roles in various belief-desire models of reasons and explanation and argues that the usual belief-desire accounts need to be replaced. Schueler contends that the plausibility of the standard belief-desire accounts rests largely on a failure to distinguish "desires proper," like a craving for sushi, from so-called "pro attitudes," which may take the form of beliefs and other cognitive states as well as desires proper. Schueler's "deliberative model" of practical reasoning suggests a different view of the place of desire in practical reason and the explanation of action. He holds that we can arrive at an intention to act by weighing the relevant considerations and that these may not include desires proper at all. (shrink)
Kant maintains that his Critique of Pure Reason follows a “synthetic method” which he distinguishes from the analytic method of the Prolegomena by saying that the Critique “rests on no other science” and “takes nothing as given except reason itself”. The paper presents an account of the synthetic method of the Critique, showing how it is related to Kant’s conception of the Critique as the “science of an a priori judging reason”. Moreover, the author suggests, understanding its (...) synthetic method sheds light on the structure of the Transcendental Deduction, and its function in the work as a whole. (shrink)
Sidgwick’s dualism of the practical reason is the idea that since egoism and utilitarianism<br>aim both to have rational supremacy in our practical decisions, whenever they conflict<br>there is no stronger reason to follow the dictates of either view. The dualism leaves us<br>with a practical problem: in conflict cases, we cannot be guided by practical reason to<br>decide what all things considered we ought to do. There is an epistemic problem as well:<br>the conflict of egoism and utilitarianism shows that they (...) cannot be both self-evident<br>principles. Only the existence of a just God could, for Sidgwick, prevent the conflict and<br>thus solve the dualism. The paper first explores in detail and rejects some reconstructions<br>of the dualism: a purely logical account, and accounts whereby egoism and utilitarianism<br>are principles of pro tanto reasons or of sufficient reasons. Then it proposes a better account,<br>in which egoism and utilitarianism are logically compatible and yet conflicting<br>principles of all things considered reason. The account is shown to fit with Sidgwick’s<br>view of the dualism and of its practical and epistemic pitfalls. Finally, some views are<br>discussed as to the wider positive significance of the dualism, regarded as a challenge to<br>the rational authority of morality, or as indicating the structural opposition of agentrelative<br>and agent-neutral reasons, or again as the imperfect yet amendable attempt at a<br>comprehensive pluralist theory of practical reasons. (shrink)
My topic is the debate in moral psychology between the rationalist and the anti-rationalist over the proper relation between reason and desire. My aim is not to adjudicate this debate, but rather to clarify what is at stake, for, it seems to me, both parties are prone to misconceive the issues that divide them.
I show why Michael Friedman’s idea that we should view new constitutive frameworks introduced in paradigm change as members of a convergent series introduces an uncomfortable tension in his views. It cannot be justified on realist grounds, as this would compromise his Kantian perspective, but his own appeal to a Kantian regulative ideal of reason cannot do the job either. I then explain a way to make better sense of the rationality of paradigm change on what I take to (...) be Friedman’s own terms. (shrink)
Abstract of “Reason and the structure of Davidson’s ‘Desire-Belief-Model’ ” by Henk bij de Weg -/- In the present discussion in the analytic theory of action, broadly two models for the explanation or justification of actions can be distinguished: the internalist and the externalist model. Against this background, I discuss Davidson’s version of the internalist Desire-Belief Model (DBM). First, I show that what Davidson calls “pro attitude” (a main element of his concept of reason) has two distinct meanings. (...) An implication of this is that Davidson’s DBM actually comprises two different models: the “classical” DBM and a model that has an extra premise, the “nonclassical” model. However, from another point of view one can say that the classical DBM is the nonclassical model in which a premise is missing. In order to determine which viewpoint is correct, I introduce Schütz’s distinction between “because-motives” and “in-order-to-motives”. With the help of this distinction, I can show that the classical DBM is an incomplete version of the nonclassical model. Besides of the premise that refers to the agent’s pro attitude, we need this extra premise in order to refer to the occasion as experienced by the agent that makes him or her act. Only then can we fully explain or justify an action. (shrink)
In this new introductory textbook to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, Jill Vance Buroker explains the role of this first Critique in Kant's Critical project and offers a line-by-line reading of the major arguments in the text. She situates Kant's views in relation both to his predecessors and to contemporary debates, explaining his Critical philosophy as a response to the failure of rationalism and the challenge of skepticism. Paying special attention to Kant's notoriously difficult vocabulary, she explains the strengths (...) and weaknesses of his arguments, while leaving the final assessment up to the reader. Intended to be read alongside the Critique (also published by Cambridge University Press as part of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant in Translation), this guide is accessible to readers with little background in the history of philosophy, but should also be a valuable resource for more advanced students. (shrink)
The second of Kant’s three critiques, Critique of Practical Reason forms the center of Kantian philosophy. Kant establishes his role as a vindicator of the truth of Christianity in this work, published in 1788, and he approaches his proof by presenting positive affirmations of the immortality of the soul and the existence of God. The philosopher offers an argument concerning the summum bonum of life: people should not simply search after happiness, but follow the moral law and seek to (...) become worthy of the happiness that God can bestow. This seminal text in the history of moral philosophy offers the most complete statement of Kant’s theory of free will and a full development of his practical metaphysics. (shrink)
The Unity of Reason is the first major study of Kant's account of reason. It argues that Kant's wide-ranging interests and goals can only be understood by redirecting attention from epistemological questions of his work to those concerning the nature of reason. Rather than accepting a notion of reason given by his predecessors, a fundamental aim of Kant's philosophy is to reconceive the nature of reason. This enables us to understand Kant's insistence on the unity (...) of theoretical and practical reason as well as his claim that his metaphysics was driven by practical and political ends. Neiman begins by discussing the historical roots of Kant's conception of reason, and by showing Kant's solution to problems which earlier conceptions left unresolved. Kant's notion of reason itself is examined through a discussion of all the activities Kant attributes to reason. In separate chapters discussing the role of reason in science, morality, religion, and philosophy, Neiman explores Kant's distinctions between reason and knowledge, and his difficult account of the regulative principles of reason. Through examination of these principles in Kant's major and minor writings, The Unity of Reason provides a fundamentally new perspective on Kant's entire work. (shrink)
David Papineau presents a controversial view of human reason, portraying it as a normal part of the natural world, and drawing on the empirical sciences to illuminate its workings. In these six interconnected essays he discusses both theoretical and practical rationality, and shows how evolutionary theory, decision theory, and quantum mechanics offer fresh approaches to some long-standing problems.
This book explores Hume's account of reason and its role in human understanding, seen in the context of other notable accounts by philosophers of the early modern period. David Owen offers new interpretations of many of Hume's most famous arguments about induction, belief, scepticism, the passions, and moral distinctions.
Free Public Reason examines the idea of public justification, stressing its importance but also questioning the coherence of the concept itself. Although public justification is employed in the work of theorists such as John Rawls, Jeremy Waldron, Thomas Nagel, and others, it has received little attention on its own as a philosophical concept. In this book Fred D'Agostino shows that the concept is composed of various values, interests, and notions of the good, and that no ranking of these is (...) possible. The notion of public justification itself is thus shown to be contestable. In demonstrating this, D'Agostino undermines many current political theories that rely on this concept. Having broken down the foundations of public justification, D'Agostino then offers an alternative model of how a workable consensus on its meaning might be reached through the interactions of a community of interpreters or delegates at a constitutional convention. (shrink)
This paper explores the question of what logic is not. It argues against the wide spread assumptions that logic is: a model of reason; a model of correct reason; the laws of thought, or indeed is related to reason at all such that the essential nature of the two are crucially or essentially co-illustrative. I note that due to such assumptions, our current understanding of the nature of logic itself is thoroughly entangled with the nature of (...) class='Hi'>reason. I show that most arguments for the presence of any sort of essential re- lationship between logic and reason face intractable problems and demands, and fall well short of addressing them. These arguments include those for the notion that logic is normative for reason (or that logic and correct reason are in some way the same thing), that logic is some sort of description of correct reason and that logic is an abstracted or idealised version of correct reason. A strong version of logical realism is put forward as an alternative view, and is briefly explored. (shrink)
Various early modern philosophers affirm the traditional distinction between ‘things above reason’ and ‘things contrary to reason.’ However, it is Robert Boyle who goes furthest to rework and defend the division, and to explore its ramifications in detail. My aim here is to examine the logical structure of Boyle’s version of the distinction, and his concomitant account of the sphere of truths beyond human understanding. I also weigh the philosophical merits of the account and clarify the relationship between (...) Boyle’s characterization of things above reason and his alleged dialethism. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
What is the relation between acting intentionally and acting for a reason? While this question has generated a considerable amount of debate in the philosophy of action, on one point there has been a virtual consensus: actions performed for a reason are necessarily intentional. Recently, this consensus has been challenged by Joshua Knobe and Sean Kelly, who argue against it on the basis of empirical evidence concerning the ways in which ordinary speakers of the English language describe and (...) explain certain side-effect actions. Knobe and Kelly's argument is of interest not only because it challenges a widely accepted philosophical thesis on the basis of experimental evidence, but also because it indirectly raises an important and largely neglected question, the question of whether or in what sense an agent can perform a side-effect action for a reason. In this article, I address this question and provide a positive answer to it. Specifically, I argue that agents act for a reason whenever they perform side-effect actions as trade-offs. Thus, I claim that there are three distinct types of rational action: actions performed as ends in themselves, actions performed as means to further ends, and side-effect actions performed as trade-offs. Given this multiplicity of types of rational action, the question of whether or not actions performed for a reason are necessarily intentional is in need of refinement. The more specific question that lies at the heart of this article is whether or not side-effect actions performed as trade-offs are necessarily intentional. I conclude that, contrary to what Knobe and Kelly suggest, the question remains open. (shrink)
This is a much-needed and clearly argued account of what has gone wrong in our thinking about the environment. Written by one of our leading environmental thinkers, it is a compelling exploration of the contemporary ecological crisis, its origins, and the cultural illusions that lie behind it. Val Plumwood argues that historically-traceable distortions of reason and culture have resulted in dangerous forms of ecological denial. They have had a widespread effect in areas as diverse as economics, politics, science, ethics, (...) and spirituality, and appear in the currently dominant form of globalization. Cutting through the "prudence vs. ethics" debate that has stunted environmental philosophy, Plumwood analyzes our ethical and spiritual failures as closely linked to our perceptual and prudential failures to situate ourselves as ecological beings. She argues that in the process, we gain a false idea of our own character and location, including an illusory sense of independence from nature, making us insensitive to ecological limits, dependencies and interconnections. Environmental Culture presents a radically new picture of how our culture must change in order to develop an ecologically rational society. Drawing on a range of ideas from feminism, democracy, globalization and post-colonial thought, it is essential reading for anyone interested in the environment and our place in it. (shrink)
What is the meaning of reason in our postmodern society today? Is reason a weapon of domination, or can it also serve as a means for emancipation? Is it possible for reason to understand its "other"--what it is not? Confronting such questions, Bounds of Reason is a compelling discussion of the limits and meaning of rationality as a tool for understanding the ideas of truth, justice and freedom. Emilia Steuerman explores the modernist and postmodernist controversy between (...) Habermas and Lyotard to highlight the problems encountered both by a defense of reason and by the lack of meaning that haunts a world without it. Using Kleinian theory to examine the debate as it is manifested in the main philosophical themes of this century, Steuerman argues that a rational and ethical theory of justice must take into account that which is not rational, symmetrical or transparent--namely a primitive world of love and hatred which colors and shapes our perceptions. (shrink)
Human beings are both supremely rational and deeply superstitious, capable of believing just about anything and of questioning just about everything. Indeed, just as our reason demands that we know the truth, our skepticism leads to doubts we can ever really do so. In Walking the Tightrope of Reason, Robert J. Fogelin guides readers through a contradiction that lies at the very heart of philosophical inquiry. Fogelin argues that our rational faculties insist on a purely rational account of (...) the universe, yet at the same time, the inherent limitations of these faculties ensure that we will never fully satisfy that demand. As a result of being driven to this point of paradox, we either comfort ourselves with what Kant called "metaphysical illusions" or adopt a stance of radical skepticism. No middle ground seems possible and, as Fogelin shows, skepticism, even though a healthy dose of it is essential for living a rational life, "has an inherent tendency to become unlimited in its scope, with the result that the edifice of rationality is destroyed." In much Postmodernist thought, for example, skepticism takes the extreme form of absolute relativism, denying the basis for any value distinctions and treating all truth-claims as equally groundless. How reason avoids disgracing itself, walking a fine line between dogmatic belief and self-defeating doubt, is the question Fogelin seeks to answer. Reflecting upon the ancient Greek skeptics as well as such thinkers as Hume, Kant, Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, and Whitman, this book takes readers into--and through--some of philosophy's most troubling paradoxes. (shrink)
In Ethics and the A Priori Michael Smith discusses two types of claims that invoke the term ‘should.’ The first type invokes the ‘should’ of instrumental reason (shouldIR) and the second type invokes the should of full practical reason (shouldFPR). I argue that these are not mutually exhaustive categories. There is a third type of should-claim that does not fall into either category, such as when we say to someone who is going to smoke, ‘You should smoke low (...) tar cigarettes.’ This third type of should-claim aims, in a sense, at damage control. By comparing it to shouldFPR-claims, I show that shouldFPR-claims cannot be, contrary to what Smith suggests, even partly based on defects of character such as an agent’s irrational anger. Smith also claims that what I shouldFPR do is determined by the strongest desire my fully rational self would have, where a necessary condition of being fully rational is having no false beliefs and all relevant true beliefs. I point out that on such a view the connection between shouldFPR-claims and criticizability is lost and the connection between shouldFPR-claims and the agent’s abilities is lost. I sketch out an alternative view of shouldFPR-claims that retains these connections and on which the shouldFPR is constrained by the beliefs it is reasonable to require that agent to have. (shrink)
This is the first comprehensive study in English of Voltaire's contes philosophiques--the philosophical tales for which he is best remembered and which include his masterpiece Candide. Pearson situates each story in its historical and intellectual context and offers new readings in light of modern critical thinking. He rejects the traditional view that Voltaire's contes were the private expression of his philosophical perplexity, and argues that it is narrative that is Voltaire's essential mode of thought. His book is a witty, lucid, (...) and scholarly guide to the "fables of reason" through which Voltaire's skepticism undermined the contemporary religious and philosophical explanations of human experience. (shrink)
Preface: What is rationality? -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction: Diversity and the social questions of reason -- Varieties of rational experience -- Ordinary historical reason -- Science, culture, and principles of rationality -- Languages of time in postcolonial memory -- Reason and unreason in politics.
Introduction -- Suspension -- Hegel and Schelling -- Outline of the whole -- The surge of reason : faculty epistemology in Kant and Fichte -- The first critique's basic distinction -- The third critique -- Fichte's Wissenschaftslehre -- Ascendant reason : the early Schelling -- Of the I -- The treatises -- Metastatic reason : Schelling's nature philosophy -- Organic reason : ideas for a philosophy of nature -- Rational nature : on the world-soul -- Inhibition (...) of nature : the Erster entwurf -- Synthetic reason : the system of transcendental idealism -- The idea of system -- The synthetic method -- History and art -- Reason as reflection and speculation : Hegel's collaboration with Schelling -- The differenzschrift -- Krug's pen -- The sacred abyss : Schelling's identity philosophy -- The darstellung -- System of philosophy in general -- Space, time, and suspension : Hegel's absolute knowing -- The phenomenology's critique of Schelling -- Absolute knowing -- Suspended reason : Hegel on the certainty and truth of reason -- Empty idealism -- Observing nature -- Observing self-consciousness -- Self-actualizing reason -- The project of individuality -- Reason on the periphery : Schelling's freedom essay -- Reason as peripheral -- Pantheism and freedom -- God as existing -- Longing for ground -- The possibility of evil -- The actuality of evil -- System, ground, and indifference -- Reason's systematic excess -- Hegel's system -- The myth of totalizing reason -- The philosophy of nature -- History -- Reason's systematic excess -- Schelling's positive philosophy -- The natural history of reason -- The critique of Hegel -- Now what? (shrink)
Covering an important theme in Humean studies, this book focuses on Humes hugely influential account of the relation between reason and morality, found in book three of his Treatise of Human Nature . Arguing that this account includes a fundamental contradiction that has gone unnoticed in modern debate, this fascinating volume contains a refreshing combination of historical-scholarly work and contemporary analysis that seeks to expose this contradiction and therefore provide a significant contribution to current scholarship in the area. Beginning (...) by pointing out a contradiction in the intermediary premise concerning whether reason can influence action, or is wholly powerless, the book then moves on to draw out the consequences for recent meta-ethics of the failure to acknowledge this contradiction. Finally, Botros highlights the root of the arguments power in an article of naturalistic dogma. A significant and thought-provoking addition to this popular field of study, Hume, Reason and Morality is undoubtedly an important resource for moral philosophers interested in meta-ethics and practical reason, as well as Humean scholars. (shrink)
Reason is precariously positioned in the Critique of Pure Reason. The Transcendental Analytic leaves no entry for reason in the cognitive process, and the Transcendental Dialectic restricts reason to noncognitive roles. Yet, in the Appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic, Kant contends that the ideas of reason can be used in empirical investigation and eventually knowledge acquisition. Given what Kant has said, how is this possible? Kant attempts to answer this in A663–A666/B691–B694 in the Appendix, where (...) he argues that principles of reason “have objective but indeterminate validity.” In Part I of this paper, I explain the full motivation behind this section. In Part II, I provide an exegesis of it. In particular, to reach his conclusion that principles of reason have objective but indeterminate validity, I interpret Kant as making three arguments from analogy. Finally, in Part III, I show that the first and third arguments fail—and what this means for Kant’s project. (shrink)
This book investigates the central role of reason in Islamic intellectual life. Despite widespread characterization of Islam as a system of belief based only on revelation, John Walbridge argues that rational methods, not fundamentalism, have characterized Islamic law, philosophy and education since the medieval period. His research demonstrates that this medieval Islamic rational tradition was opposed by both modernists and fundamentalists, resulting in a general collapse of traditional Islamic intellectual life and its replacement by more modern but far shallower (...) forms of thought. However, the resources of this Islamic scholarly tradition remain an integral part of the Islamic intellectual tradition and will prove vital to its revival. The future of Islam, Walbridge argues, will be marked by a return to rationalism. (shrink)
Reason and Value collects 15 new papers by leading contemporary philosophers on themes from the work of Joseph Raz. Raz has made major contributions in a wide range of areas, including jurisprudence, political philosophy, and the theory of practical reason; but all of his work displays a deep engagement with central themes in moral philosophy. The subtlety and power of Raz's reflections on ethical topics make his writings a fertile source for anyone working in this area. Especially significant (...) are his explorations of the connections between practical reason and the theory of value, which constitute a sustained and penetrating treatment of a set of issues at the very center of moral philosophy as it is practiced today. The contributors to the volume acknowledge the importance of Raz's contributions by engaging critically with his positions and offering independent perspectives on the topics that he has addressed. The volume aims both to honour Raz's accomplishments in the area of ethical theorizing, and to contribute to an enhanced appreciation of the significance of his work for the subject. (shrink)
In this article I revisit the relationship between Immanuel Kant and the Marquis De Sade, following not Jacques Lacan but Pierre Klossowski. In the process I suggest that Sade's work is marred by a series of antinomies that prevent him from stating a pure practical libertine reason and leave his view purely theoretical.
People rely on reason to think about and navigate the abstract world of human relations in much the same way they rely on maps to study and traverse the physical world. Starting from that simple observation, renowned geographer Gunnar Olsson offers in Abysmal an astonishingly erudite critique of the way human thought and action have become deeply immersed in the rhetoric of cartography and how this cartographic reasoning allows the powerful to map out other people’s lives. A spectacular reading (...) of Western philosophy, religion, and mythology that draws on early maps and atlases, Plato, Kant, and Wittgenstein, Thomas Pynchon, Gilgamesh , and Marcel Duchamp, Abysmal is itself a minimalist guide to the terrain of Western culture. Olsson roams widely but always returns to the problems inherent in reason, to question the outdated assumptions and fixed ideas that thinking cartographically entails. A work of ambition, scope, and sharp wit, Abysmal will appeal to an eclectic audience—to geographers and cartographers, but also to anyone interested in the history of ideas, culture, and art. (shrink)
The Retreat of Reason brings back to philosophy the ambition of offering a broad vision of the human condition. One of the main original aims of philosophy was to give people guidance about how to live their lives. Ingmar Persson resumes this practical project, which has been largely neglected in contemporary philosophy, but his conclusions are very different from those of the ancient Greeks. They typically argued that a life led in accordance with reason, a rational life, (...) would also be the happiest or most fulfilling. By exploring the irrationality of our attitudes to time, identity, and responsibility, Persson shows that the aim of living rationally conflicts not only with the aim of leading the most fulfilling life, but also with the moral aim of promoting the maximization and just distribution of fulfilment for all. The Retreat of Reason challenges some of our most fundamental ideas about ourselves. (shrink)
I introduce a distinction between two divergent trends in the literature on Hume and practical reason. One trend, action-theoretic Humeanism, primarily concerns itself with defending a general account of reasons for acting. The other trend, virtue-theoretic Humeanism, concentrates on defending the case for being an agent of a particular practical character, one whose enduring dispositions of practical thought are virtuous. I discuss work exemplifying these two trends and warn against decoupling thought about Hume's and a Humean theory of practical (...)reason from Hume's and a Humean ethics. I conclude that the virtue-theoretic approach is a fruitful one for pursuing future work on Hume and Humeanism about practical reason. (shrink)
Between 1100 and 1600, the emphasis on reason in the learning and intellectual life of Western Europe became more pervasive and widespread than ever before in the history of human civilization. Of crucial significance was the invention of the university around 1200, within which reason was institutionalized and where it became a deeply embedded, permanent feature of Western thought and culture. It is therefore appropriate to speak of an Age of Reason in the Middle Ages, and to (...) view it as a forerunner and herald of the Age of Reason that was to come in the seventeenth century. The object of this study is twofold: to describe how reason was manifested in the curriculum of medieval universities, especially in the subjects of logic, natural philosophy and theology; and to explain how the Middle Ages acquired an undeserved reputation as an age of superstition, barbarism, and unreason. (shrink)
Interpretive horizons -- The transcendental dialectic -- The gathering of reason in the paralogisms -- The gathering of reason in the antinomies -- The gathering of reason in the ideal -- Reason, imagination, madness -- Metaphysical security and the play of imagination.
Most philosophers working in moral psychology and practical reason think that either the notion of "good" or the notion of "desire" have central roles to play in our understanding of intentional explanations and practical reasoning. However, philosophers disagree sharply over how we are supposed to understand the notions of "desire" and "good", how these notions relate, and whether both play a significant and independent role in practical reason. In particular, the "Guise of the Good" thesis - the view (...) that desire (or perhaps intention, or intentional action) always aims at the good - has received renewed attention in the last twenty years. Can one have desire for things that the desirer does not perceive to be good in any, or form intentions to act in way that one does not deem to be good? Does the notion of good play any essential role in an account of deliberation or practical reason? Moreover, philosophers also disagree about the relevant notion of good. Is it a purely formal notion, or does it involve a substantive conception of the good? Is the primary notion, the notion of the good for a particular agent, or the notion of good simpliciter? Does the relevant notion of good make essential appeal to human nature, or would it in principle extend to all rational beings? While these questions are central in contemporary work in ethics, practical reason, and philosophy of action, they are not new; similar issues were discussed in the ancient period. This volume of essays aims to bring together "systematic" and more historically-oriented work on these issues. (shrink)
Postmodernism has had a significant and divisive impact on late-Twentieth Century thought. Proponents of the postmodernist critique of absolute knowledge have felt it necessary to jettison the Enlightenment concepts of truth, reason and the self. Opponents of postmodernism have seized on this abandonment of rational standards only to ignore the very real problems raised by the postmodernists. Michael Luntley provides a lively introduction to debate and offers a clear and careful exposition of how rational debate can survive even if (...) the main postmodernist critique of the Enlightenment is accepted. Reason, Truth and Self covers many of the key questions of our age: the rationality of science; the availability of rational but non-scientific ways of understanding ourselves and our world; the nature of mind and of knowledge; the nature of moral judgement and the scope for accounts of the self that do justice to our situatedness in real historical circumstances. (shrink)
Classical fitting-attitude analyses understand value in terms of its being fitting, or more generally, there being a reason to favour the bearer of value. Recently, such analyses have been interpreted as referring to two reason-notions rather than to only one. The idea is that the properties of the object provide reason not only for a certain kind of favouring(s) vis-à-vis the object, but the very same properties should also figure in the intentional content of the favouring; the (...) agent should favour the object on account of those properties that provide reason for favouring the object in the first place. While this expansion of the original proposal might seem intuitive given that favourings are discerning attitudes, it is nonetheless argued that proponents of the fitting-attitude analysis are in fact not served by such an expansion of the classical analysis. The objections raised here are relevant not only for advocates and critics of fitting-attitude analyses, but for anyone interested in the relation between normative reasons and motivation. (shrink)
Javier Muguerza’s Ethics and Perplexity makes a highly original contribution to the debate over dialogical reason. The work opens with a letter that establishes a parallel between Ethics and Perplexity and Maimonides’s classic Guide of the Perplexed. It concludes with an interview that repeatedly strikes sparks on Spanish philosophy’s emergence from its “long quarantine,” as Muguerza puts it. These informal pieces—witty, informative, conversational—orbit the nucleus of the work: a formidable critique of dialogical reason. The result is a volume (...) by turns vivid and profound. (shrink)
We have, as a theological community, generally lost a language in which to speak of the created-ness of the world. As a consequence, our discourses of reason cannot bridge the way we know God and the way we know the world. Therefore, argues Oliver Davies, a primary task of contemporary theology is the regeneration of a Christian account of the world as sacramental, leading to the formation of a Christian conception of reason and a new Christocentric understanding of (...) the real. Both the Johannine tradition of creation through the Word and a Eucharistic semiotics of Christ as the embodied, sacrificial and creative speech of God serve the project of a repairal of Christian cosmology. The world itself is viewed as a creative text authored by God, of which we as interpreters are an integral part. This is a wide-ranging and convincing book that makes an important contribution to modern theology. (shrink)
In this study of Robert Boyle's epistemology, Jan W. Wojcik reveals the theological context within which Boyle developed his views on reason's limits. After arguing that a correct interpretation of his views on 'things above reason' depends upon reading his works in the context of theological controversies in seventeenth-century England, Professor Wojcik details exactly how Boyle's three specific categories of things which transcend reason - the incomprehensible, the inexplicable, and the unsociable - affected his conception of what (...) a natural philosopher could hope to know. Also covered in detail is Boyle's belief that God had deliberately limited the human intellect in order to reserve a full knowledge of both theology and natural philosophy for the afterlife. (shrink)
This paper tackles with the issue of the place of comprehensive beliefs within the public space. It tries to strike a middle path between the liberal ban on comprehensive beliefs and the anti-liberal claim that comprehensive beliefs should be given full pride of place in public deliberations. The article relies on arguments that are inspired by the pragmatist tradition. It starts locating the main cause of failures at articulating comprehensive beliefs and public reason in a central feature of liberal (...) epistemology, namely the way it conceives public reason via a preliminary distinction between public and non public beliefs. After criticizing this distinction, the article introduces a distinction between the normative practice of justification and the normative practice of adjudication as a more perspicuous way to establish the place that comprehensive beliefs should play within political forums. It then concludes showing that this approach provides a satisfying answer to the issue of the public role of comprehensive beliefs in a liberal democratic regime that is respectful of citizens’ thick identities while at the same time complying with the requirements of respect set by the liberal tradition. Keywords: public reason and religion - pragmatism - liberalism - communitarianism - normative practices. (shrink)
The Sovereignty of Reason is a survey of the rule of faith controversy in seventeenth-century England. It examines the arguments by which reason eventually became the sovereign standard of truth in religion and politics, and how it triumphed over its rivals: Scripture, inspiration, and apostolic tradition. Frederick Beiser argues that the main threat to the authority of reason in seventeenth-century England came not only from dissident groups but chiefly from the Protestant theology of the Church of England. (...) The triumph of reason was the result of a new theology rather than the development of natural philosophy, which upheld the orthodox Protestant dualism between the heavenly and earthly. Rationalism arose from a break with the traditional Protestant answers to problems of salvation, ecclesiastical polity, and the true faith. Although the early English rationalists were not able to defend all their claims on behalf of reason, they developed a moral and pragmatic defense of reason that is still of interest today. Beiser's book is a detailed examination of some neglected figures of early modern philosophy, who were crucial in the development of modern rationalism. There are chapters devoted to Richard Hooker, the Great Tew Circle, the Cambridge Platonists, the early ethical rationalists, and the free-thinkers John Toland and Anthony Collins. (shrink)
Kant’s notion of “discipline” has received considerable attention from scholars of his philosophy of education, but its role in his theoretical philosophy has been largely ignored. This omission is surprising since his discussion of discipline in the first Critique is not only more extensive and expansive in scope than his other discussions but also predates these discussions, in many cases by more than fifteen years. This discussion comprises the first chapter of the Doctrine of Method in the first Critique, the (...) “Discipline of Pure Reason”. The goal of this essay is to provide a comprehensive reading of the Discipline that emphasizes its systematic importance in the first Critique. I argue that the goal of the Discipline is to establish a set of rules for the use of pure reason that, if followed, will mitigate and perhaps even eliminate our tendency to make judgments about supersensible objects. Further, since Kant’s justification for these rules relies crucially on claims he has defended in the Doctrine of Elements, I argue that, far from being a dispensable part of the Critique as commentators from Kemp-Smith onwards have tended to claim, the Discipline is the culmination of Kant’s critique of metaphysics. (shrink)
In this article I challenge the current view that Hume is a naturalist as well as a sceptic. I hold he is a peculiar kind of rationalist. I argue that his position is best viewed as a philosophical approach designed to accommodate the tendencies of human nature. This task is carried out by means of a second-order reflection, which turns out to be based upon reason of a non-demonstrative kind. It is brought into clear focus when the mind discovers (...) a conflict between two tendencies. In section one, I highlight this kind of conflict in Hume's account of causal inference. In section two, I unfold the conflict that can be found in his account of our belief in the continued and independent existence of objects. In section three, I show how it is possible to reconcile our tendencies. I maintain that this reconciliation is effected by means of second-order, reason-based arguments. In section four, I examine the status of Hume's scepticism in the light of the preceding account and conclude that his standpoint is not sceptical at all. (shrink)
For centuries debates about reason and its Other have animated and informed philosophy, art, science, and politics throughout Western civilization but nowhere, arguably, as deeply and turbulently as in Germany. This book explores the myriad issues surrounding these debates.
This paper is about the epistemology of practical reason and, in particular, the function of trust as an end to be pursued rationally in praxis. Our purpose is threefold: first, to present an outline of the structure of practical reason; secondly, to compare practical reason and scientific reason in order to determine the main differences between these two basic manifestations of human reason; finally, to argue in favour of a non-utilitarian model of practical reason (...) in the light of some results of contemporary economic theory. (shrink)
Kant denies that Reason is intuitive, but demands that we must - in some way - 'make' Reason intuitive, and follow its guidance, particularly in matters of morality. In this book, a group of scholars attempt to analyze and explore this central paradox within Kantian thought. Each essay explores the question from a different perspective - from political philosophy, ethics and religion to science and aesthetics. The essays thus also reformulate the core question in different forms, for example, (...) how are we to realize the moral good in personal character, political arrangements, or religious institutions? (shrink)
Using the theoretical approach he introduced in his acclaimed Religious Reason (Oxford, 1978), and drawing on contemporary rationalist ethical theory as well as a variety of religious traditions and issues, Ronald M. Green here provides a simple, effective model for understanding the complexity of religious life. He shows clearly and convincingly that the basic processes of religious reasoning are the same everywhere and that they give rise, in perfectly understandable ways, to the rich diversity of religious expression worldwide. This (...) is a major resource for courses in the philosophy of religion. (shrink)
This bookis about the roots of managerial rationality. A theoretical base, founded on the concept of 'memetics' is developed in order to explain human thinking and human reason as products of cultural evolution. Cultural change and development are explained by simple, value-driven memetic mechanisms like 'ritualization' and 'extremization'.
Faith and Reason displays in historical perspective some of the rich dialogue between religion and philosophy over two millennia, beginning with Greek reflections about God and the gods and ending with twentieth-century debate about faith in a world which tends to reserve its reverence for science. Paul Helm uses as a case study the question of whether the world is eternal or whether it was created out of nothing, following this theme from Plato through medieval thought to modern scientific (...) speculation about the beginnings of the universe. This Oxford Reader also includes discussion of many other fundamental issues raised by the juxtaposition of faith and reason, including arguments for and against the existence of God, the relationship between religion and ethics, the contrast between reason and revelation as sources of knowledge, and the implications of religious belief for freedom of the will. (shrink)
Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason is a key element of the system of philosophy which Kant introduced with his Critique of Pure Reason, and a work of major importance in the history of Western religious thought. It represents a great philosopher's attempt to spell out the form and content of a type of religion that would be grounded in moral reason and would meet the needs of ethical life. It includes sharply critical and boldly constructive (...) discussions on topics not often treated by philosophers, including such traditional theological concepts as original sin and the salvation or 'justification' of a sinner, and the idea of the proper role of a church. This volume presents it and three short essays that illuminate it in new translations by Allen Wood and George di Giovanni, with an introduction by Robert Merrihew Adams that locates it in its historical and philosophical context. (shrink)
According to Principles of Sufficient Reason, every truth (in some relevant group) has an explanation. One of the most popular defenses of Principles of Sufficient Reason has been the presupposition of reason defense, which takes endorsement of the defended PSR to play a crucial role in our theory selection. According to recent presentations of this defense, our method of theory selection often depends on the assumption that, if a given proposition is true, then it has an explanation, (...) and this will only be justified if we think this holds for all propositions in the relevant group. I argue that this argument fails even when restricted to contingent propositions, and even if we grant that there is no non-arbitrary way to divide true propositions that have explanations from those that lack them. Further, we can give an alternate explanation of what justifies our selecting theories on the basis of explanatory features: the crucial role is not played by an endorsement of a PSR, but rather by our belief that, prima facie, we should prefer theories that exemplify explanatory power to greater degrees than their rivals. This guides our theory selection in a manner similar to ontological parsimony and theoretical simplicity. Unlike a PSR, our belief about explanatory power gives us a prima facie guiding principle, which provides justification in the cases where we think we have it, and not in the cases where we think we don't. (shrink)
Fales defends the doctrine of the given against the Sellarsian dilemma. On his view, sensory experiences, to which one has direct access, can justify basic beliefs. He upholds this view by way of defending an expansive conception of inference, according to which a broadly inferential relation can hold between sensory experiences and perceptual beliefs. The purpose of this paper is to show that Fales’s defense of the given fails. For this purpose, I argue that there are two requirements for being (...) a good reason, and that his conception of direct apprehension faces a serious dilemma with regard to these requirements. In addition, I argue that his expansive conception of inference is unfounded. (shrink)
Reason in the emotional life. I-III.--Education of the emotions.--The early discipline of personality.--The personal life.--The virtue of chastity.--Art and the future.--Science and religion.--Reason and religion.--Religious reality.--The maturity of religion. I-II.--The conservation of personality.
Athens or Jerusalem? By Tertullian.--Philosophy the handmaid of theology, by Clement of Alexandria.--Faith in search of understanding, by St. Augustine.--Revelation and analogy, by St. Thomas Aquinas.--The mystic way, by M. Eckhart.--The darkened intellect, by J. Calvin.--The reasons of the heart, by B. Pascal.--Faith, reason, and enthusiasm, by J. Locke.--Miracles and the skeptic, by D. Hume.--The limits of reason, by I. Kant.--Truth and subjectivity, by S. Kierkegaard.--In justification of faith, by W. James.--Religion as poetry, by G. Santayana.--Faith and symbols, (...) by P. Tillich.--Three parables on falsification, by A. Flew, R. M. Hare, and B. Mitchell.--For further reading (p. 233-235). (shrink)
Introduction: the question of reason -- The Frankfurt School critique of reason -- Habermas's communicative rationality -- Macintyre's tradition-constituted reason -- A substantive reason -- Beyond relativism: reasonable progress and learning from -- Conclusion: toward a Thomistic-Aristotelian critical theory of society.
Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (1781) remains a landmark work of philosophy and one that most students will encounter at some point in their studies. At nearly seven hundred pages of detailed and complex argument it is a demanding and intimidating read. James O’Shea’s introduction to the Critique seeks to make it less so. Aimed primarily at students coming to the book for the first time, it provides step-by-step analysis in clear, unambiguous prose. The conceptual problems Kant sought (...) to resolve are outlined and his conclusions concerning the nature of human knowledge and the possibility of metaphysics, and the arguments for those conclusions, are explored. Key concepts are explained throughout and the reader is provided with an unrivalled route map through the many and varied parts of the text. In addition, O’Shea’s careful and insightful analysis offers much for more seasoned readers of Kant and his interpretation provides a significant contribution to recent work. -/- “Exhibiting both care and liveliness, the text provides what it set out to offer, namely] a readable and philosophically stimulating discussion of a difficult but seminal work. The discussion is genuinely approachable and clear without diminishing the difficulty of the problems it addresses. It provides students with a very helpful basis for understanding Kant’s book.” Graham Bird, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Manchester . (shrink)
Introduction: "Know yourself" -- The revelation of God's wisdom -- Credo ut intellegam -- Intellego ut credam -- The relationship between faith and reason -- The interventions of the Magisterium in philosophical matters -- The interaction between philosophy and theology -- Current requirements and tasks -- Conclusion.
Contending that only a normative theory of rationality can be adequate to the complexities of the subject, this book explains and defends the view that rationality consists of the intelligent pursuit of appropriate objectives. Rescher considers the mechanics, rationale, and rewards of reason, and argues that social scientists who want to present a theory of rationality while avoiding the vexing complexities of normative deliberations must amend their perspective of the rational enterprise.
Faith and reason in the Church Magisterium from Pius IX to Fides et ratio -- Pius IX (1846-1878) between the Qui pluribus and the syllabus -- Faith and reason in the First Vatican Council -- From the syllabus to the First Vatican Council -- Constitution Dei filius -- Leo XIII and the Aeterni patris -- Faith and reason in the light of Fides et ratio -- Fides et ratio after Dei filius and Aeterni patris: faith and (...) class='Hi'>reason -- Truth, foundation and metaphysics -- Historical reconstruction of Chapter IV -- Patristic and Medieval period -- Faith and reason in the modern age -- For a comprehensive review -- Difference and reciprocity of faith and reason -- Stressing difference: S. Kierkegaard -- Stressing reciprocity and circularity -- Crisis of reason and of the relationship reason-truth -- Post-modernity as the name of contemporary times. a brief analysis -- Going beyond the reductionism of post-modern reason -- Faith and reason: a necessary encounter, if both are "loyal" to themselves. (shrink)
Truth is no longer based on reason What we feel is now the truest reality Yet despite our obsession with the emotive and the experiential we still face anxiety despair and purposelessness Tracing trends in twentieth century thought Francis ...
Machine generated contents note: General editor's preface; Editorial notes and references; Introduction; Notes on text and translation; Chronology; Bibliography; Part I. On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason: 1. Introduction; 2. Survey of what is most important in previous teachings about the principle of sufficient reason; 3. Inadequacy of previous accounts and sketch of a new one; 4. On the first class of objects for the subject and the form of the principle of sufficient (...) class='Hi'>reason governing in it; 5. On the second class of objects for the subject and the form of the principle of sufficient reason governing in it; 6. On the third class of objects for the subject and the form of the principle of sufficient reason governing in it; 7. On the fourth class of objects for the subject and the form of the principle of sufficient reason governing in it; 8. General remarks and results; Variants in different editions; Collation of the two editions; Part II. On Vision and Colours: 9. On vision; 10. On colours; Variants in different editions; Part III. On Will in Nature: 11. Introduction; 12. Physiology and pathology; 13. Comparative anatomy; 14. Plant physiology; 15. Physical astronomy; 16. Linguistics; 17. Animal magnetism and magic; 18. Sinology; Reference to ethics; Conclusion; Variants in different editions; Glossary of names; Index. (shrink)
What happens to our conception of mind and rational agency when we take seriously future-directed intentions and plans and their roles as inputs into further practical reasoning? The author's initial efforts in responding to this question resulted in a series of papers that he wrote during the early 1980s. In this book, Bratman develops further some of the main themes of these essays and also explores a variety of related ideas and issues. He develops a planning theory of intention. Intentions (...) are treated as elements of partial plans of action. These plans play basic roles in practical reasoning, roles that support the organization of our activities over time and socially. Bratman explores the impact of this approach on a wide range of issues, including the relation between intention and intentional action, and the distinction between intended and expected effects of what one intends. (shrink)
The question I am interested in is this. What exactly is the role of conscious experience in the acquisition of knowledge on the basis of perception? The problem here, as I see it, is to solve simultaneously for the nature of this experience, and its role in acquiring and sustaining the relevant beliefs, in such a away as to vindicate what I regard as an undeniable datum, that perception is a basic source of knowledge about the mind- independent world, in (...) a sense of basic which is also to be elucidated. I shall sketch the way in which I think that this should be done. In section I, I argue that perceptual experiences must provide reasons for empirical beliefs. In section II, I explain how they do so. My thesis is that a correct account of the sense in which perceptual experiences are experiences of mind-independent things is itself an account of the way in which they provide peculiarly basic reasons for beliefs about the world around the perceiver. (shrink)
Bill Brewer presents an original view of the role of conscious experience in the acquisition of empirical knowledge. He argues that perceptual experiences must provide reasons for empirical beliefs if there are to be any determinate beliefs at all about particular objects in the world. This fresh approach to epistemology turns away from the search for necessary and sufficient conditions for knowledge and works instead from a theory of understanding in a particular area.