Elijah Millgram

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Practical Reasoning


Photo of the Thinking Cowboy by Alastair Norcross.

Practical reasoning is figuring out what to do, as contrasted with determining what to believe. We will examine a menu of recent views as to the forms that practical reasoning can take, including instrumentalism (it's all about getting what you want), Kantian accounts (you only have a reason to do it if anyone in your shoes would also), particularism (reasons are like kleenex: use them once and throw them away) and nihilism (nothing counts as a practical reason at all). The unifying theme of the semester will be the concept of defeasibility, that is, of a consideration giving you a reason to act -- but only other things equal.

PHIL 5500/6500
Fall 2015
Time: W 5:30-8:30
Location: Tanner Library (CTIHB 459)