Chapter

Practical and Alethic Reasons: Part I

Paul Grice

in Aspects of Reason

Published in print June 2001 | ISBN: 9780198242529
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597534 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198242522.003.0003
 Practical and Alethic Reasons: Part I

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Grice continues his project of proving the univocality of common modals (the ‘Equivocality Thesis’) by showing how a univocal structural representation can be applied to a certain (non‐moral) class of alethic and practical acceptability statements that are at least sometimes (informally) valid, subject to license of the involved transitional inferences from a ‘Principle of Total Evidence’. Grice also shows that these acceptability statements can be modified to account for defeasible (ceteris paribus, degrees of probability/desirability) and non‐defeasible (‘unqualified’) generalizations, which in turn can be utilized to account for a univocal set of modals such as ‘ought’ and ‘must’. The chapter closes with a discussion of the ‘Principle of Total Evidence’.

Keywords: acceptability statement; alethic reasoning; defeasible; equivocality; must; ought; practical reasoning

Chapter.  8696 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy

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