Reply to Paul Guyer and Richard Bradley

 

ADRIAN PIPER | Rationality and the Structure of the Self (2nd ed.) | APRA Foundation Berlin 2013


 

By Adrian Piper

These two sets of comments on Volume II of my Rationality and the Structure of the Self[1] (henceforth RSS II), from the two leading philosophers in their respective areas of specialisation—Kant scholarship and decision theory—are the very first to appear from any quarter within academic philosophy.[2] My gratitude to Paul Guyer and Richard Bradley for the seriousness, thoroughness and respect with which they treat RSS—and my admiration for their readiness to acknowledge the existence of books that in fact have been in wide circulation for a long time—know no bounds. Their comments and criticisms, though sharp, are always constructive. I take my role here to be to incorporate those comments and criticisms where they hit the mark, and, where they go astray, to further articulate my view to meet the standard of clarity they demand. While Guyer’s and Bradley’s comments both pertain to the substantive view elaborated in RSS II, my responses often refer back to the critical background it presupposes that I offer in RSS Volume I: The Humean Conception (henceforth RSS I). I address Guyer’s more exegetically oriented remarks first, in order to provide a general philosophical framework within which to then discuss the decision-theoretic core of the project that is the focus of Bradley’s comments.

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Preference and Logic—On Adrian Piper’s “Rationality and the Structure of the Self”

 

ADRIAN PIPER | Rationality and the Structure of the Self (2nd ed.) | APRA Foundation Berlin 2013


 

By Richard Bradley

In her ambitious and wide-ranging book Rationality and the Structure of the Self, Adrian Piper seeks to establish the basic principles of what she calls transpersonal rationality, the form of rationality constitutive of the Kantian conception of the self. Transpersonal rationality is governed by principles that require us to transcend our personal preoccupations and interests and focus on those that apply to all in equal measure. By contrast, the rival Humean conception of the self, the main foil for her argument, draws on an egocentric form of rationality directed at the instrumental fulfilment of the agent’s desires but not at their content.

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