Chapter

The Priority of Practice

Daniel Rynhold

in Two Models of Jewish Philosophy

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780199274864
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602450 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019927486X.003.0006
The Priority of Practice

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We present the alternative to the PoT approach to practical justification, which we term the Priority of Practice approach (PoP). This is developed by applying conceptual categories provided by Aristotle and certain contemporary philosophers, in particular, Charles Taylor and Bernard Williams, to an analysis of faith drawn from the Jewish tradition and some of the tentative remarks that Soloveitchik makes in his second model of rationalization. Simply stated, the PoP theorist holds that the rationality of a practice cannot be reduced to that of a set of discursive principles. The practice itself rather than any alleged propositional representation of it contains its own rationality, a non-discursive form of rationality that is irreducibly practical. According to the PoP theorist, there is such a thing as practical knowledge in a substantive sense that cannot be reduced to knowledge of principles and that can only be fully understood by participation in the practice itself, which provides us with our reasoned confidence.

Keywords: Aristotle; faith; justification; PoP; PoT; practice; principles; reasoned confidence; Soloveitchik

Chapter.  14057 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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