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    In Praise of Reason: Why Rationality Matters for Democracy (Hardback) By (author) Michael P. Lynch

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    DescriptionWhy does reason matter, if (as many people seem to think) in the end everything comes down to blind faith or gut instinct? Why not just go with what you believe even if it contradicts the evidence? Why bother with rational explanation when name-calling, manipulation, and force are so much more effective in our current cultural and political landscape? Michael Lynch's In Praise of Reason offers a spirited defense of reason and rationality in an era of widespread skepticism--when, for example, people reject scientific evidence about such matters as evolution, climate change, and vaccines when it doesn't jibe with their beliefs and opinions. In recent years, skepticism about the practical value of reason has emerged even within the scientific academy. Many philosophers and psychologists claim that the reasons we give for our most deeply held views are often little more than rationalizations of our prior convictions. In Praise of Reason gives us a counterargument. Although skeptical questions about reason have a deep and interesting history, they can be answered. In particular, appeals to scientific principles of rationality are part of the essential common currency of any civil democratic society. The idea that everything is arbitrary--that reason has no more weight than blind faith--undermines a key principle of a civil society: that we owe our fellow citizens explanations for what we do. Reason matters--not just for the noble ideal of truth, but for the everyday world in which we live.

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  • Full bibliographic data for In Praise of Reason

    In Praise of Reason
    Why Rationality Matters for Democracy
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Michael P. Lynch
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 184
    Width: 152 mm
    Height: 226 mm
    Thickness: 25 mm
    Weight: 635 g
    ISBN 13: 9780262017220
    ISBN 10: 0262017229

    BIC E4L: PHI
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S2.1
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    B&T Book Type: NF
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    BIC subject category V2: HPK
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 01
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    B&T General Subject: 610
    Ingram Subject Code: PH
    Libri: I-PH
    LC subject heading: , ,
    BISAC V2.8: PHI010000
    LC subject heading:
    DC22: 128.33
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15250
    DC22: 128/.33
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: PHI032000
    DC23: 121.3
    LC classification: B833 .L96 2012
    Thema V1.0: QDH, QDTK
    Edition statement
    New ed.
    MIT Press Ltd
    Imprint name
    MIT Press
    Publication date
    13 April 2012
    Publication City/Country
    Cambridge, Mass.
    Author Information
    Michael P. Lynch is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut and the author of Truth in Context: An Essay on Pluralism and Objectivity and True to Life: Why Truth Matters, both published by the MIT Press.
    Review quote
    In Praise of Reason offers a very thoughtful, balanced, and persuasive defence of the value of using reason as the basis for collective decision making -- it is an argument that scpetics and defenders alike should read. Political Studies Review Writing in a cogent, readable style, Lynch shows that reason is so intimately bound up with our emotions that it touches nearly every aspect of human consciousness. Review of Metaphysics Smart and innovative...Lynch writes a strong and easily accessible response to skepticism about reason and scientific inquiry...I highly recommend. Essays in Philosophy This fun little book...shines with interest. Like a gifted interlocutor it engages and excites its readers, always drawing them into dialogue (if not always convincing them), and always leaves them better off for it. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews