BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

Contextuality in practical reason

Price, Anthony W. (2008) Contextuality in practical reason. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199534791.

Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL:


This book explores the varying ways in which context is relevant to our interpretation and assessment of practical inferences (especially from one intention to another), practical judgements (especially involving the term ‘ought’), inferences from conditional ‘ought’-judgements, and the ascription to agents of reasons for action. Practical inferences are subject not to a special logic, but to a teleology that they share with action itself. Their inherent purpose is to forward an end of action, and not to be logically valid. Practical judgements are commonly to be understood relatively to an implicit context of goals and circumstances. Apparently conflicting ‘ought’s can show up as consistent once they are interpreted contextually, with an eye to different ends and different aspects of a situation. This makes acceptable certain patterns of inference that would otherwise yield counter-intuitive conclusions. What reasons for action are ascribable to an agent depends both on the context of action, and on the deliberative context. Facts tell in favour of acts against a background of particular circumstances, and in ways whose relevance to an ascription to an agent of a reason for action depends upon the perspective within which the ascription is made.

Item Type: Book
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): context, practical inferences, practical judgements, oughts, reasons for action
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Philosophy
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 05 May 2011 10:58
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:17

Archive Staff Only (login required)

Edit/View Item Edit/View Item