Varieties of Practical Reasoning
Practical reasoning is the study of how to figure out what to do. It is of particular importance to ethics. Indeed, new developments in practical reasoning promise to break through long-standing ethical and moral dilemmas. Practical reasoning also has consequences for philosophy of mind, value theory, and the social sciences. This anthology provides an overview of this important area of philosophy.
Over the past two decades the field of practical reasoning has changed rapidly, with a small number of entrenched positions giving way to a healthy profusion of competing views. This book covers a broad spectrum of positions on practical reasoning—from the nihilist view that there are no legitimate forms of practical inference, and hence no such thing as practical reasoning, to inferential expressivism, which holds that our desires express commitments to arbitrarily different kinds of practical inferences (as when the desire to stay dry makes explicit the commitment to inferring the need to carry an umbrella if rain is forecast). Underlying all the contributions is the question of how one should go about determining what the legitimate forms of practical reasoning are.
About the Editor
Elijah Millgram is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Utah.
"This is an outstanding introduction to a central topic in philosophy. For the first time, many of the most influential recent essays on practical reasoning have been collected together in a single volume. With an excellent synoptic introduction and additional new essays, this volume presents a coherent, accessible account of the current debate over the role that reason plays (or does not play) in the genesis of human action. This debate is not only fascinating in its own right; it also has significant implications for our understanding of ethics, value, the mind, and the will."--Sarah Buss, Department of Philosophy, University of Iowa