Experience and Foundationalism in Audi's The Architecture of Reason

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Robert Audi's The Architecture of Reason is a magnificent consolidation of decades of original work by a masterful philosopher. Its scope is impressive, as it covers both theoretical and practical reason in a slim volume. More impressive yet is its coherence, for Audi reveals a unified structure shared by what many philosophers assume to be disparate fields. In this short comment, I will focus on just a few aspects of Audi's primary analogies between theoretical and practical reason. He argues that "reason, conceived as a general human capacity, is, as Kant thought, unified. It is unified above all by its grounding, directly or through belief, in experience, sensory, introspective, memorial, and reflective." (233; cf. ix, 16, 80, 222) Audi's structural thesis, then, is that good reasoning always has some foundation. His substantive thesis is that the foundation is always some experience. Hence his subtitle, "The Structure and Substance of Rationality".

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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