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Beyond the sub-Humean model : instrumental reason in Aristotle, Hume and Kant

The thesis illustrates the importance of philosophical frameworks to our conception of instrumental reason through the comparative exegetical analysis of Aristotle, Hume, and Kant. Interpretations of each thinker reveal the significance of their respective philosophical frameworks in helping them avoid the subjectivist and freestanding connotations of the standard model. Specifically, since Aristotle, Hume, and Kant incorporate a notion of ethical normative objectivity within their frameworks, I show that these three thinkers represent a rich if divergent historical tradition according to which an adequate understanding of the normative significance of instrumental practical reasoning depends on situating it within a broader moral, social, or metaphysical framework. I establish how Aristotle's, Hume's, and Kant's thinking about practical reason is integrated within a more general frame of moral and political theorising that in each case reflects a degree of philosophical unease with the allure of a freestanding conception of instrumental rationality. Thus, a sympathetic examination of these historical thinkers' metaphysical commitments are important to illustrate the need for contemporary philosophers to directly confront, examine and articulate the comparative moral framework situating our current conception of instrumental reason.
Date January 2010
CreatorsKong, Camillia E. H.
PublisherLondon School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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