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Reason and Goodness

1951 to 1953
University of St. Andrews

Reason and Goodness has as its major theme the tension between reason and feeling in western ethics. For Blanshard, the issue is of practical importance and is rooted in the ancient ethical tension between knowledge and virtue, as held by the Greeks, and love, as emphasized by the Christians. While Blanshard thus understands the Greek and Christian emphases exist in sharp contrast, he nevertheless regards both as essential in the evaluation of reason and goodness, and he spends the larger portion of his text positioning and refuting theories of reason, knowledge, and ethics including—objectivism, instrumentalism, and linguistic analysis—that exist between the two contrasting poles. He ends his discussion by considering the ideal of the rational person and subsequently argues that the rational mind—which he understands as more viable then the feeling and objectivism described above—requires a special temper of intellect, character and feeling or a balance between knowledge and love.


Reason and Goodness

Atlantic Highlands, NJ
Humanities Press
  • Kelly Van Andel, University of Glasgow