Practical Reason and Ethics

  • R. M. O’Donnell


The object of this chapter is to describe Keynes’s theory of practical reason, his general answer to the question ‘What is to be done?’. That Keynes was highly practically oriented is well known. His practical side is constantly stressed by E.A.G. Robinson, for instance, who regarded him as ‘always in the ultimate a man of action’ (1975 p. 12). Indeed, some economists have even suggested that his major contributions were practical rather than theoretical, and that he was uninterested in, or even opposed to pure theory.2 But despite the universal acknowledgment of his practical bent, the corresponding enquiry into the underlying philosophy has been largely neglected.


Rational Action Practical Reason Mathematical Expectation Organic Unity Probable Goodness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 18.
    It is likely that Keynes was partly influenced here by Russell’s reviews of Principia Ethica (1903, 1904a).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© R. M. O’Donnell 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. O’Donnell
    • 1
  1. 1.Macquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations