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 that 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. Appeals to the subjective ought or to subjective probabilities are self-defeating. Adapting Karl Popper, I argue that the task of theoretical reason is to obtain theories that we can agree to instate given that they appear to have greater explanatory merit than their rivals. I then argue 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
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 31,812
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Kant's Account of Reason.Garrath Williams - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Formal Principles and the Form of a Law.Andrews Reath - 2010 - In Andrews Reath & Jens Timmermann (eds.), Kant's Critique of Practical Reason: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press.
Practical Reason, Value and Action.Alison Hills - 2007 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (3):375-392.
Kant's Account of Nature's Systematicity and the Unity of Theoretical and Practical Reason.Lara Ostaric - 2009 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 52 (2):155 – 178.
Added to PP index
2010-03-09

Total downloads
75 ( #79,377 of 2,231,542 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #445,507 of 2,231,542 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature