Mind & Society

, Volume 16, Issue 1–2, pp 51–80 | Cite as

How reason confronts experience: on naturalist accounts of reason

  • Sheldon J. ChowEmail author


Cliff Hooker’s effort at developing a naturalistic philosophy for scientific and quotidian reason is formidable. With Barry Hoffmaster, Hooker has recently expanded his naturalism to encompass moral reason and moral epistemology by considering a real life example of moral decision-making. Hoffmaster and Hooker’s work thus presents a unique opportunity to examine a thoroughgoing naturalism applied to a concrete, complex case. This paper offers a critical assessment of the Hoffmaster and Hooker piece through the lens of an externalist approach to naturalism developed by Adam Morton. General lessons for naturalism about reason are revealed before a rough sketch of a novel account of problems and problem-solving is given to illustrate the importance of externalism.


Naturalism Reason Rationality Reasoning 



The author wishes to thank the following people for comments and discussions, suggestions and criticisms, through many drafts of this paper: Alain Ducharme, Uljana Feest, Barry Hoffmaster, Jeremy Schmidt, Chris Viger, and Charles Weijer.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PhilosophyLeibniz Universität HannoverHannoverGermany

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