Practical Reason Unbound: Politics and Human Agency in a Promethean Key

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Date

2011

Authors

Perkins, Lucas

Advisors

Gillespie, Michael A

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Abstract

Traditional approaches to the empirical research of human action, rational choice theory dominant amongst them, have implicitly adopted philosophical pre-suppositions about human action that are untenable and in need of correction. In this project, I seek to both (a) diagnose these problems by showing that rational choice theory is insufficiently attentive to both the question of what agents are and of what kind of world they occupy, and (b) overcome these problems by offering a conception of practical reason that is more "realistic" in that it incorporates a philosophically convincing account of world and of the practical agent's relation with it. To that end, I develop a conception of praxis that is centered on the idea that practical agents act within and toward practical horizons rather than exercising a faculty of choice within stable decision spaces.

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Perkins, Lucas (2011). Practical Reason Unbound: Politics and Human Agency in a Promethean Key. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/5034.

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