Practical Reason

Practical reason is reasoning which is used to guide action, and is contrasted with theoretical reason, which is used to guide thinking. Sometimes ‘practical reason’ refers to any way of working out what to do; more usually it refers to proper or authoritative, hence reasoned, ways of working out what to do.

On many accounts practical reasoning is solely instrumental: it identifies ways of reaching certain results or ends, but has nothing to say about which ends should be pursued or which types of action are good or bad, obligatory or forbidden.

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