The Nature of Rationality by Robert Nozick

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Repeatedly and successfully, the celebrated Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick has reached out to a broad audience beyond the confines of his discipline, addressing ethical and social problems that matter to every thoughtful person. Here Nozick continues his search for the connections between philosophy and "ordinary" experience. In the lively and accessible style that his readers have come to expect, he offers a bold theory of rationality, the one characteristic deemed to fix humanity's "specialness." What are principles for? asks Nozick. We could act simply on whim, or maximize our self-interest and recommend that others do the same. As Nozick explores rationality of decision and rationality of belief, he shows how principles actually function in our day-to-day thinking and in our efforts to live peacefully and productively with each other.

Throughout, the book combines daring speculations with detailed investigations to portray the nature and status of rationality and the essential role that imagination plays in this singular human aptitude.


About Robert Nozick

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Robert Nozick was Pellegrino University Professor at Harvard University. His book Anarchy, State, and Utopia received a National Book Award.
Published December 19, 1994 by Princeton University Press. 242 pages
Genres: Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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London Review of Books

If any trait distinguishes people from animals, and if people differ in degree along this trait, then Hacking would have us infer that ‘some people are closer to animality than others.’ Many writers have claimed that language is what distinguishes people from animals but, despite the fact that di...

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