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
Reason and Goodness
Chapter I. The Tension between Reason and Feeling in Western Ethics
Chapter II. Stoicism and the Supremacy of Reason
Chapter III. St Francis and the Supremacy of Feeling
Chapter IV. The Dialectic of Reason and Feeling in British Ethics
Chapter IX. The Linguistic Retreat from Emotivism
Chapter X. Three Theories of Goodness
Chapter XI. Human Nature and Goodness
Chapter XII. ‘Good’, ‘Right’, ‘Ought’, ‘Bad’
Chapter XIII. Thought and Desire
Chapter XIV. Reason and Politics
In volume two, Reason and Goodness, of his series on the position of reason in the theory of knowledge and ethics, Brand Blanshard explores the tension between reason and feeling through stoicism, love, objectivism, instrumentalism, and linguistic analysis, among other theories. He ends his discussion by considering the ideal of the rational man 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.
- Kelly Van Andel, University of Glasgow