chapter  8
11 Pages

General principles of practical appraisal

We have explored several dimensions in which practical reasoning may be assessed, and we have formulated a number of broad criteria for its general appraisal. These criteria leave open a number of questions concerning what principles of practical rationality should guide us. Many have been proposed as governing both practical reasoning and action. Some of these are moral; others are more general. A major question that any theory of practical reasoning must address is whether moral principles have any privileged or otherwise special status in the appraisal of practical reasoning and rational action. Those principles can be of enormous importance whether or not that is so. That will be clear in Chapter 10, which will explore some definite moral principles in application to practical reasoning and ethical decision. Here, however, I want to consider the status of moral reasons in general in relation to practical reasoning and then to proceed to some substantive principles we might hold in guiding that reasoning.