Reason and Nature: Essays in the Theory of Rationality

Hardcover | November 1, 2002

EditorJose Luis Bermudez, Alan Millar

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Reason and Nature investigates the normative dimension of reason and rationality and how it can be situated within the natural world. Nine philosophers and two psychologists address three main themes. The first concerns the status of norms of rationality and, in particular, how it ispossible to show that norms we take to be objectively authoritative are so in fact. The second has to do with the precise form taken by the norms of rationality. The third concerns the role of norms of rationality in the psychological explanation of belief and action. It is widely assumed that weuse the normative principles of rationality as regulative principles governing psychological explanation. This seems to demand that there is a certain harmony between the norms of rationality and the psychology of reasoning. What, then, should we make of the well-documented evidence suggesting thatpeople consistently fail to reason well? And how can we extend the model to non-language-using creatures?As this collection testifies, current work in the theory of rationality is subject to very diverse influences ranging from experimental and theoretical psychology, through philosophy of logic and language, to metaethics and the theory of practical reasoning. This work is pursued in variousphilosophical styles and with various orientations. Straight-down-the-line analytical, and largely a priori, enquiry contrasts with empirically constrained theorizing. A focus on human rationality contrasts with a focus on rationality in the wider natural world. As things stand work in one styleoften proceeds in isolation from work in others. If progress is to be made on rationality theorists will need to range widely. Reason and Nature will provide a stimulus to that endeavour.

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Reason and Nature investigates the normative dimension of reason and rationality and how it can be situated within the natural world. Nine philosophers and two psychologists address three main themes. The first concerns the status of norms of rationality and, in particular, how it ispossible to show that norms we take to be objective...

Jose Luis Bermudez and Alan Millar are both Professors of Philosophy, University of Stirling.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.83 inPublished:November 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199256837

ISBN - 13:9780199256839

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Table of Contents

Alan Millar and Jose Luis Bermudez: IntroductionPart I: Objectivity and Normativity1. Paul Boghossian: How are Objective Epistemic Reasons Possible?2. Crispin Wright: On Basic Logical Knowledge: Reflections on Paul Boghossian's 'How are Objective Epistemic Reasons Possible?'3. John Broome: Practical Reasoning4. Alan Millar: Reasons for Action and Instrumental RationalityPart II: Psychological Reality and Psychological Explanation5. Nick Chater and Mike Oaksford: The Rational Analysis of Human Cognition6. E. J. Lowe: The Rational and the Real: Some Doubts About the Programme of Rational Analysis7. David Over: The Rationality of Evolutionary Psychology8. Isaac Levi: Commitment and Change of View9. Jose Luis Bermudez: Rationality and Psychological Explanation Without Language10. Allan Gibbard: Normative Explanations: Invoking Rationality to Explain Happenings

Editorial Reviews

`Reason and Nature is a very nice collection of papers which succeeds in bringing together a variety of perspectives about reasoning. All of them are well written and worth study, and Bermudez and Millar select very appropriate papers. . . . Still, it is a volume well worth reading by thoseinterested in philosophical or cognitive scientific approaches to reasoning.'Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews