The Architecture of Reason: The Structure and Substance of Rationality

By Robert Audi | Go to book overview

1
GROUNDWORK

The architecture that surrounds us is quite varied. There are differences in shape, height, composition, and style. But every building has some foundation, even if it is as shifting as planks on a sandy beach. It also has a superstructure rising from that foundation, even if it is just a single story. The metaphor of foundations and superstructure has, at least since Aristotle, seemed to many philosophers to apply to our beliefs. 1 It is one thing, of course, to take it to apply to the psychology of belief: to maintain, for instance, that our beliefs are ultimately based on experience in some causal way and that they divide into the experiential in the foundations and the inferential in the superstructure. It is quite another to apply this architectural metaphor to normative notions: to hold, for example, that what ultimately justifies those of our beliefs that are justified is some aspect of experience. Similar questions arise for rationality. It is essential that we both distinguish and connect the psychological and epistemic aspects of the metaphor. I will, then, consider the architectural picture in both the psychology and the epistemology of cognition, particularly in relation to the development and structure of belief on the psychological side and, on the epistemological side, in relation to justification and knowledge.


1. SOURCES AND GROUNDS OF JUSTIFICATION

When I look directly at the piano keyboard before me in the full light of the concert stage, I plainly see its ebony and ivory, the fallboard behind the keys, and the raised top. This visual experience is a ground both of

-13-

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The Architecture of Reason: The Structure and Substance of Rationality
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xiii
  • Introduction - Experience and Reason 3
  • Part I - Theoretical Reason 11
  • 1 - Groundwork 13
  • 2 - Superstructure 32
  • Part II - Practical Reason 59
  • 3 - Action, Belief, and Desire 61
  • 4 - The Sources of Practical Reasons 81
  • 5 - Desires, Intentions, and Reasons for Action 108
  • 6 - Others as Ends 135
  • Part III - Rationality and Relativity 169
  • 7 - Relativity, Plurality, and Culture 171
  • 8 - Global Rationality 195
  • Conclusion 227
  • Notes 235
  • Index 277
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