Reason and Reasons

Paul Grice

in Aspects of Reason

Published in print June 2001 | ISBN: 9780198242529
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597534 | DOI:
 Reason and Reasons

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Grice begins this chapter by discussing to what extent the notion of variable rationality can be derived from that of flat rationality, and thus from the concept of a rational being alone. He then draws a distinction between ‘explanatory’ (motivating) and ‘justificatory’ (normative) reasons, as well as ‘personal’ reasons that combine the two by being reasons acted upon and regarded as justifying by the agent. Finally, he introduces a structural representation for practical and alethic justificatory reasons that shows that ‘common modals’ (ought, must, necessary, etc.) are used univocally on both sides of the practical/alethic divide. This representation consists of a single modal operator ‘Acc’ (‘it is acceptable that’), two mood‐operators ‘!’ (practical ) and ‘⊥’ (alethic), and a phrastic ‘r’ that these operators apply to.

Keywords: alethic; explanatory reasons; flat rationality; justificatory reasons; modal operator; mood operator; personal reasons; practical reasoning; rationality; variable rationality

Chapter.  16234 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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