Practical Reasoning in a Social World: How We Act Together

Practical Reasoning in a Social World: How We Act Together

Practical Reasoning in a Social World: How We Act Together

Practical Reasoning in a Social World: How We Act Together

Synopsis

This book proposes a theory of practical reasoning that rests on an appeal to universal features of human agency. It contributes to a growing literature on the relation between actions and institutions; between individuals and the collectivities to which they belong; and between those collectivities and the conditions of agency which they impose. The primary audience for the book will be political philosophers, but the implications of Graham's arguments for political action will interest a secondary readership.

Excerpt

I have accumulated large debts in writing this book. Thoughts for it began to form when I was a Simon Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Government at the University of Manchester, and developed further when I was Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Philosophy and Public Affairs in the Department of Moral Philosophy at the University of St Andrews. I am deeply grateful to both departments for providing such a congenial and intellectually stimulating atmosphere. My luck continued with a brief Visiting Research Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Study of the University of London. I am grateful to Jo Wolff and the University for finding me a peaceful room buried deep in the bowels of the University Senate House (the building which provided the model for George Orwell's Ministry of Truth in 1984). My past and present colleagues in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Bristol agreed to my having study leave on more than one occasion, and I am greatly indebted to them for their generosity. Finally, I am also happy to acknowledge the award of a research fellowship from the Arts and Humanities Research Board of the British Academy, which enabled me to complete final drafting.

I owe an impersonal debt to the handful of analytical philosophers who have written works which swim against the individualist tide in various ways. I have learnt much from the work of Peter French, Margaret Gilbert, Susan Hurley, Larry May, John Searle and Raimo Tuomela. in addition, I am indebted to a large number of people for conversations, comments on papers, and the like. I know that this includes the following, and I hope that anyone whose name is omitted will forgive me: David Archard, Richard J. Arneson, Alison Assiter, Ted Benton, Chris Bertram, Ed Brandon, John Broome, Jessica Brown, Malcolm Budd, Will Cartwright, Dario Castiglione, Andrew Chitty, Maurizio D'Entrêves, Cécile Fabre, Colin Farrelly, John Featherstone, Katrin Flikschuh, Bob Frazier, Miranda Fricker, Norman Geras, John Haldane, the late . . .

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