Practical Reason

4 April 2015
Compares author’s views on practical reason, ethical action, categorical imperative, subjective vs. objective perceptions, the good life. TheView from Nowhere, ( Thomas Nagel ) & Ethics & the Limits of Philosophy (Bernard Williams )

The purpose of this research is to examine the notion of practical reason as treated by Thomas Nagel in The View from Nowhere and by Bernard Williams in Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. The plan of the research will be to set forth the assumptions and evidence informing Williams’s assertion that practical thought (reason) is radically first-personal, as against Nagel’s belief that practical reason can be understood and even engaged in by the objective self, and then to discuss the extent of meaning and significance of each position from the standpoint of critical inquiry.
The meaning of Williams’s assertion needs to be examined with reference to a working definition of practical thought. That term can be compared with the term practical reason, which is associated with the commentaries of Kant. Indeed, Williams …

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