Humean Rationality

Michael Smith

in The Oxford Handbook of Rationality

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780195145397
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191727474 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Humean Rationality

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This article focuses on the relationship between reasons and rationality. It begins by explaining how Hume is led to his (grotesque) conclusion. The explanation lies in his view that the concepts of reason and rationality are best explained by reference to their relations in the theoretical domain, specifically in the domain of deductive reasoning. It then considers how Hume's conclusion might be avoided. The issue, to anticipate, is whether, once the understandings of the terms “reason” and “rationality” are liberalized in the way required to take a more sensible view about the nature of reason and rationality in the theoretical domain, there is a stable position left to take in the practical domain that retains anything of the spirit of Hume's remarks.

Keywords: reasons; rationality; Hume; theoretical domain; deductive reasoning

Article.  8580 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind

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