Advertisement

The Ground of Reason and Knowledge

Chapter
  • 158 Downloads

Abstract

This chapter builds on the conclusions of Chap.  5, that our grasp of concepts depends on our mastery of a social practice, and develops them more fully to argue that reason and knowledge are grounded in social practice. I argue that any notion of reason seen to involve an appeal to, or to depend on, the consultation of a ‘real rule’ or a ‘rule itself’ leads to an infinite regress. This regress can only be stopped by seeing the consulting of rules as bottoming out in the tacit grasp of how to perform appropriately in social space. I also argue that knowledge more broadly is a social practice; it is something that we do. As such, the epistemological sceptic’s attempt to detach himself from the world of practice, and to bring everything he believes and everything that he does before himself as a theoretical object requiring justification, is in principle incoherent. By this point I take the account of rational progress discussed in Chap.  2 to be more fully justified, and I take the notion of a disengaged rational agent to have been shown to be false.

Keywords

doubtDoubt conceptConcept Representational Rules Judgment Framework criteriaCriteria 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Bibliography

  1. Austin, J.L. 1961a. Other Minds. In Philosophical Papers, 1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. ———. 1961b. A Plea for Excuses. In Philosophical Papers, 1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. ———. 1962. Sense and Sensibilia. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Braver, Lee. 2012. Groundless Grounds. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carroll, Lewis. 1895. What the Tortoise Said to Achilles. Mind 4 (14): 278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cavell, S. 1979. The Claim of Reason. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Descartes, René. 1996a. In Meditations on First Philosophy, ed. John Cottingham, 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. ———. 1996b. Objections and replies. In Meditations on First Philosophy, ed. John Cottingham, 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hume, David. 2007. In An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, ed. Peter Millican. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. McGinn, Marie. 1989. Sense and Certainty. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  11. Moore, G.E. 2013. Proof of an External World. In Philosophical Papers. Oxford: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. ———. 2014. Hume’s Philosophy. In Philosophical Studies. Oxford: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Mulhall, Stephen. 1996. Heidegger and Being and Time. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Ryle, Gilbert. 2000. The Concept of Mind. London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  15. ———. 2009. Why Are the Calculuses of Logic and Arithmetic Applicable to Reality? In Collected Essays 1929–1968, 2nd ed. Oxford: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Stroud, B. 1984. The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Tanney, Julia. 2013. Real Rules. In Rules, Reason, and Self-Knowledge. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Taylor, Charles. 1997. To Follow a Rule. In Philosophical Arguments. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Winch, Peter. 2003. The Idea of a Social Science. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Wittgenstein, Ludwig. 1972. In On Certainty, ed. G.E.M. Anscombe and G.H. Wright. New York: Harper Torchbooks.Google Scholar
  21. ———. 2001. Philosophical Investigations. Trans. G.E.M. Anscombe. 3rd ed. Malden: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of KentCanterburyUK

Personalised recommendations