, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 113-116
Date: 23 Feb 2012

Roger Teichmann, Nature, Reason, and the Good Life

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Roger Teichmann’s Nature, Reason, and the Good Life makes an important contribution to the literature on ethics and practical rationality. Teichmann provides an original and compelling account of the connection between human nature, rationality and value. This account is used to defend a view of ethics, practical reason and the good life that stems from human nature. Teichmann uses his account to construct critiques of a number of positions present in the academic literature and in wider society.

The central claim on which this book rests is that the study of ethics and practical rationality should not be divorced from the study of human nature. Ethics, Teichmann argues, is necessarily anthropocentric. To argue otherwise is to misunderstand the nature of ethical discourse. The study of ethics is the study of, “human life and what is humanly important” (p. 1). Ethics falls within the domain of practical reasoning. In order to be said to have acted rationally, one must be capable of givi ...