Practical Reality by Jonathan Dancy

Practical Reality

byJonathan Dancy

Paperback | August 1, 2002

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Practical Reality is about the relation between the reason why we do things and the reasons why we should. It maintains that current philosophical orthodoxy bowdlerizes this relation, making it impossible to understand how anyone can act for a good reason. In order to understand this, Dancy claims, we have to abandon current conceptions of the reasons why we act (our 'motivating' reasons) as mental states of ourselves. Belief/desire explanations of action, or purely cognitive accounts in terms of beliefs alone, drive too great a wedge between thenormative and the motivational. Instead, we have to understand a motivating reason as the sort of thing that could be a good reason: for instance, that the eggs are ready - this, rather than my believing that they are ready, must be my reason for taking them off the cooker. Most contemporary philosophers think that this view cannot be true. Dancy aims to demonstrate that things can be as he thinks they must be. By giving a fresh account of values and reasons, he finds a place for normativity in philosophy of mind and action, and strengthens the connection between theseareas and ethics.

About The Author

Jonathan Dancy is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Reading.
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Details & Specs

Title:Practical RealityFormat:PaperbackDimensions:200 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.45 inPublished:August 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199253056

ISBN - 13:9780199253050

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Table of Contents

1. Reasons for Action2. Reasons and Desires3. Reasons and Beliefs4. The Theory of Motivating States5. Acting for a Good Reason6. As I Believe7. Consequential Matters8. How Many Explanations?Bibliography, Index

Editorial Reviews

"Practical Reality is a philosophically rich, densely argued, and (not coincidentally) blessedly short (less than 200 pp.) book."--The Review of Metaphysics