Appearances of the Good and Appearances of the True

Dialogue 48 (2):405 (2009)
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For a very long time now, philosophers have been inclined to distinguish two kinds of reasoning. There is theoretical reasoning, in which one aims to figure out what is true, and there is practical reasoning, in which one aims to figure out what to do. Figuring out what to do is something we do all the time, but it’s not so easy to say just what this activity is. On its face, it seems to have something to do with selecting a course of action. But sometimes we select a course of action without figuring out what to do, simply because as far as we can see there is nothing to figure out. Faced with eleven indistinguishable 12oz cans of crushed tomatoes, I may see nothing to choose among them. Perhaps I did figure out that I wanted the crushed tomatoes, as opposed to the diced tomatoes, the whole stewed tomatoes, the tomato paste, or the tomato sauce. Only crushed tomatoes are suitable for the dish I have in mind. But now it’s down to which can of crushed tomatoes, and.



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Philip Clark
University of Toronto, Mississauga

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