Philosophical Review 106 (4):577 (1997)

Sarah Stroud
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
The first four chapters develop his account of reason and reasons in general. Baier calls actions, beliefs, and feelings that can be assessed as rational or irrational “performances”. He argues that the aim of the enterprise of reason is to arrive at performances that are as good as possible ; in order to further this aim, societies promulgate guidelines of rationality. Baier thinks that a being cannot be fully rational unless it has the benefit of such publicly available guidelines. Indeed, “a being’s performances cannot be judged rational or irrational until he and his “fellows” have available to them [socially provided] apparatus for determining what … is according and what contrary to reason”. Reason is thus essentially social.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0031-8108
DOI 10.2307/2998513
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