In Defense of Practical Reason: A Study and An Application of Arthur Murphy's Theory [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 25 (3):558-558 (1972)
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An account and development of Arthur Murphy's Theory of Practical Reason and its application to contemporary moral problems. Chapter II gives a schematic account of Murphy's theory of normative discourse. Chapter III contrasts this theory with other theories and approaches. The author justly remarks that "Murphy's intent has been primarily to restore proper balance among considerations that play a role in practical discourse and to steer clear of the pitfalls which would impair or diminish the effectiveness of reason in human actions." Chapter IV deals with "the contemporary erosion of practical reason and critique of existentialistic [[sic]] ethics." Chapter V contains an interesting discussion of Murphy's conception of developing and dynamic self as responsible agent. It gives recognition to the moral self as basic condition that underlies the activity of practical justification. The final chapter undertakes practical applications of the theory expounded. The monograph is a good exposition and defense of Murphy's important contribution to contemporary moral philosophy.--A. S. C.



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