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Practical Reasoning about Final Ends : Cambridge Studies in Philosophy - Henry S. Richardson

Practical Reasoning about Final Ends

Cambridge Studies in Philosophy

Paperback Published: 14th July 1997
ISBN: 9780521574426
Number Of Pages: 344

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How should we reason about what we do? The answer offered by most recent philosophy, as well as such disciplines as decision theory, welfare economics, and political science, is that we should select efficient means to our ends. However, if we ask how we should decide which ends or goals to aim at, these standard theoretical approaches are silent. Henry Richardson argues that we can determine our ends rationally. He constructs a rich and original theory of how we can reason about what to seek for its own sake as a final goal. Richardson defuses the counterarguments for the limits of rational deliberation, and develops interesting ideas about how his model might be extended to interpersonal deliberation of ends, taking him to the borders of political theory.

'This profound and important book challenges a common assumption about rationality: that all rational deliberation involves the selection of instrumental means to ends that are set by some non-rational process, for example by desires that are themselves impervious to reasoning. Drawing resourcefully on arguments of Aristotle and Plato, Richardson constructs an impressive account of the rationality involved in our selection and modification of our ultimate ends, and particularly of the ways in which a vague end can be more and more adequately specified by reflection. In the process, he offers the best account I have seen of the arguments for and against the claim that all values can be measured by a single common metric.' Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago Law School

Problem
Introduction
Practical reasoning
Scope
Ends in deliberation
Specifying ends
System
Value incommensurability
Is commensurability a prerequisite of rational choice?
Practical coherence
Reflective sovereignty
Source
Sources and limits
Ultimate ends
Disagreement
Interpersonal deliberation
Disagreement in concept and in practice
Dialectical softening
Realizing rationality
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521574426
ISBN-10: 0521574420
Series: Cambridge Studies in Philosophy
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 344
Published: 14th July 1997
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.51 x 13.84  x 2.31
Weight (kg): 0.36