practical reasoning

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practical reasoning

  1. thought directed to, and having outcomes in, social activity. This usage originates in PHILOSOPHY where it is contrasted with ‘theoretical reason’, considered as describing the world and its contents. Practical reason, by contrast, either emanates directly in action, or brings an immediate pressure to bear on it. It thus subsumes: considerations of the 'self realizing and maximizing its goods, ‘prudence’, and considerations that restrict or encourage action or restraint from action in relation to others, i.e. ‘morality’. The most dramatic claims to a special status for practical reason derive from Aristotle's proposal ofa practical syllogism, separate from theoretical syllogisms, in which an action itself (not a description or specification of an action) is held to follow logically from precedent premises, often summarized as a ‘desire’ and a ‘belief. The effect is to render action itself’logical’, and this is held by some to be the source of the ‘meanings’ of action. Such logical connection is then held (e.g. Von Wright, 1971) to mark the fundamental difference between the explanation of human activity and the explanation of natural events (see also MEANINGFUL UNDERSTANDING AND EXPLANATION).
  2. mundane or everyday thought in social situations. This ethnomethodological usage takes practical reasoning to be the central feature of routine social organization, and hence the subject matter of serious empirical sociology (see ETHNOMETHODOLOGY).
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
First there is "practical reason as such." This is the universal and perfectly generic faculty for practical deliberation tout court and so a factor in nearly every action performed by a rational agent.
The problem is that, first, this only narrows but does not close the gap, and second, and more fundamentally, our first-order practical reason can give no weight to such a presumption because the presumption competes with our first-order practical reasoning.
Ross's basic definition of practical reason (cognition) is as follows:
Thus, MacIntyre contends that practical reason is necessary for the sort of flourishing that is distinctively human.
Disengaging oneself from examples, though, is necessary for sublimity to enter into one's internal act of practical reason.
Given that most of the bibliography is in German, I will rely mainly on two works by Rhonheimer that have been translated into English: first, Natural Law and Practical Reason: A Thomist View of Moral Autonomy and second, the chapter entitled "Practical Reason and the 'Naturally Rational'" in The Perspective of the Acting Person: Essays in the Renewal of Thomistic Moral Philosophy where he specifically addresses criticisms of the former work.
First, it emphasizes obedience, law and hierarchical authority, and thus departs from the Catholic tradition's close linkage of conscience, practical reason and freedom.
Kant shows that practical reasoning is not limited to instrumental and prudential reasoning, establishing the authority of the moral law as the fundamental principle of pure practical reason. Reason yields practical requirements that can move the will.
He writes in his concluding essay, "I am committed to holding that if the requirements of practical reason are rightly understood, then practical rationality provides everything that is required for the moral life, independently of any theological ethics.
Kant's version, from the Critique of Practical Reason, is as follows: "Is pure reason of itself enough to determine the will, or is it only as empirically conditioned that it can be a determining ground of the same?" (2).
CAN Richard Burden MP explain to the people of Northfield any practical reason to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money on alterations to the perfectly working Bristol Road running through Northfield village shopping centre, and in the process depriving disabled drivers parking?
There is no practical reason to insist on its adoption.

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