The Realm of Reason develops a new, general theory of what it is for a thinker to be entitled to form a given belief. The theory locates entitlement in the nexus of relations between truth, content, and understanding. Peacocke formulates three principles of rationalism that articulate this conception. The principles imply that all entitlement has a component that is justificationally independent of experience. The resulting position is thus a form of rationalism, generalized to all kinds of content.
To show how these principles are realized in specific domains, Peacocke applies the theory in detail to several classical problems of philosophy, including the nature of perceptual entitlement, induction, and the status of moral thought. These discussions involve an elaboration of the structure of entitlement in ways that have applications in many other areas of philosophy. He also relates the theory to classical and recent rationalist thought, and to current issues in the theory of meaning, reference and explanation. In the course of these discussions, he proposes a general theory of the a priori.
The focus of the work lies in the intersection of epistemology, metaphysics, and the theory of meaning, and will be of interest both to students and researchers in these areas, and to anyone concerned with the idea of rationality.
Peacocke's best work is done in classifying the various types of rationalist position that are available, and motivating the kind of view he wants to defend. This material remains valuable, highly valuable to anyone wanting to draw a plausible rationalist picture... Brian Weatherson, Times Literary Supplement
`Peacocke provides a particularly careful account of what distinguishes rationalists from empiricists and does a lot of work classifying and adjudicating between rationalisms of various strengths.'
Brian Weatherson, Times Literary Supplement
Introduction: Reasons and Sense
1: Entitlement, Truth, and Content
2: States, Contents, and the Nature of Entitlement
3: Explaining Perceptual Entitlement
4: Extensions and Consequences
6: A Priori Entitlement
7: Moral Rationalism
8: Moral Rationalism, Realism, and the Emotions