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The Logic of Practical Reasoning

  • Bruce Aune
Chapter
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Part of the Philosophical Studies Series in Philosophy book series (PSSP, volume 9)

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to clarify the formal logic appropriate for practical reasoning. Several theories of practical reasoning have been proposed in recent years, of which Kenny’s theory, discussed in the last chapter, is a representative example. Although in criticizing Kenny’s theory I raised no doubts about the need for a special logic, involving special operators like Kenny’s ‘Fiat(…)’, I shall argue that practical reasoning can be interpreted as requiring no more than ordinary ’assertoric’ first-order logical principles. My view here is not based on general considerations or on philosophical ideology. I think there is a good prima facie case for a special logic of practical inference, and any dissenting view, such as mine, requires careful, detailed defense. I shall therefore proceed by considering important alternative views and develop my own position in the process of criticizing them.

Keywords

Prima Facie Argument Form Relative Validity Special Logic Pure Logic 
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.

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Notes

  1. 16.
    Robert Binkley, ‘A Theory of Practical Reason’, Philosophical Review 74 (1965), 423–448. Binkley gives a more recent version of his system in The Validity of Reasoning’, an address presented to the Canadian Philosophical Association meeting at Kingston, Ontario in June, 1973.Google Scholar
  2. 28.
    Hector Neri Castañeda, The Structure of Morality (Springfield, Illinois, 1974), henceforth referred to as S of M.Google Scholar
  3. 50.
    See Howard Raiffa Decision Analysis: Introductory Lectures on Choices under Uncertainty (Menlo Park, Calif., 1970). Google Scholar
  4. 58.
    See Lennart Aqvist, ‘Good Samaritans, Contrary-to-Duty Imperatives, and Epistemic Obligations’, Nous 1 (1967), 366ff.Google Scholar
  5. 61.
    See C. G. Hempel, Aspects of Scientific Explanation (New York, 1965), pp. 394– 403, and also Gilbert Harmon, ’Detachment, Probability, and Maximum Likelihood’, Nous 1 (1967), 401–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 62.
    See Lawrence Powers, ‘Some Deontic Logicians’, Nous 1 (1967), 381–400, and also Bas C. Van Fraassen, ‘The Logic of Conditional Obligation’, Journal of Philosophical Logic 1 (1972), 417–438.Google Scholar
  7. 63.
    See W. D. Ross, The Right and the Good (Oxford, 1930 ), pp. 18–36.Google Scholar
  8. 66.
    See Wilfrid Sellars’s discussion of community intentions and morality in his Science and Metaphysics , pp. 217–226.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce Aune
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Massachusetts at AmherstAmherstUSA

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