reason, practical

reason, practical
   Practical reason is the human ability to decide through reflection on the appropriate course of action. Since Socrates (Plato, Protagoras 345e) many philosophers have assumed that if one knows the right course of action, one will necessarily act upon it. It appears, however, that original sin has created an affective disorder, such that we may know the right course of action, but still opt for the wrong; this is known to philosophers as 'weakness of will' or (from the Greek of Plato and others) akrasia. This breakdown of practical reason is poignantly captured in Paul's struggle (Romans 7: 18-24). There is also debate about precisely how one should reason about action: Aristotle introduced the 'practical syllogism' to cover cases in which one reasons from a premise holding out a particular end and a premise holding out a particular means to that end to the conclusion of intending to perform that means to that end.
   See ethics; reason
   Further reading: Anscombe 1957; Hare 1996; Nozick 1993

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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