Reason, Red in Tooth and Claw: Naturalising Enlightenment Thinking

Konrad Talmont-Kaminski


At the beginning of the twenty first century naturalism is flourishing and affecting all of the major fields of philosophy; its influence being felt from epistemology, through metaphysics, philosophy of mind and ethics all the way to philosophy of language and philosophy of logic. Rather than try to characterise naturalism as it appears in all of those different areas I will focus upon what I consider to be the seminal aspect of naturalism – its role in our understanding of what it means for us humans to be rational. Appropriately enough, my examination will take in both the historical development of naturalised theories of rationality and the implications that such a view of reason has. The main aim, however, will be to present a sketch of a naturalist account of reason that is informed by Peirce’s pragmatism.


20th century philosophy; philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; enlightenment; history; humanities; naturalism; reason

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