Titel: Return to Reason
Autor/en: Stephen Toulmin
HARVARD UNIV PR
3. Oktober 2003 - kartoniert - 243 Seiten
Stephen Toulmin argues that the potential for reason to improve our lives has been hampered by a serious imbalance in our pursuit of knowledge. The centuries-old dominance of rationality has diminished the value of reasonableness. Toulmin issues a powerful call to redress the balance between rationality and reasonableness.
Preface 1 Introduction: Rationality and Certainty 2 How Reason Lost Its Balance 3 The Invention of Disciplines 4 Economics, or the Physics That Never Was 5 The Dreams of Rationalism 6 Rethinking Method 7 Practical Reason and the Clinical Arts 8 Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 The Trouble with Disciplines 10 Redressing the Balance 11 The Varieties of Experience 12 The World of Where and When 13 Postscript: Living with Uncertainty Notes Index
Stephen Toulmin is Henry R. Luce Professor at University of Southern California, and author of, among other books, Cosmopolis and The Uses of Argument.
In elegant prose, Toulmin...contends that advocates of pure reason have forgotten "the complementary concept of reasonableness," a model of intellectual practice focused on values and experience rather than facts and theories. His rich conceptual history outlines the ways in which early modern science and philosophy separated reasonableness from rationality, and the resulting imbalance in all academic disciplines. Publishers Weekly Toulmin shows in this readable and fascinating account, the practice of reason that produced modern science goes back to the 17th century, when traditional reasonableness was replaced by the model of geometry...Eventually--and this is perhaps one of Toulmin's most challenging insights--what came of this change is the system of disciplines that govern modern intellectual life...Throughout Return to Reason, Toulmin calmly addresses complex situations arising in modern disciplines. Indeed, the knack he shows for reasonableness illustrates his thesis. His book is both a diagnosis and, by example, a cure for what ails our scientific culture. -- Thomas D'Evelyn Christian Science Monitor 20010816 There is now a 'loss of confidence'...in our traditional ideas about rationality, according to Toulmin. Especially among those in the humanities, he argues, the claims of rationality have been progressively challenged over the last 20 or 30 years, to the point of being sidelined. This is a common complaint and not exactly news, but Toulmin does not merely bemoan and rant, as many others have done. He offers a diagnosis and a solution. Rationality has come under threat, he believes, because of the undue influence of classical mechanics and abstract mathematical methods on our idea of what intelligent problem-solving should be. Deduction in the style of Euclid's geometry, mechanically predictable and rigorous law in the style of Galileo and Newton, indubitable certainty in the style of Descartes' 'I think, therefore I am' all exert a malign influence, insofar as they overshadow a looser, more pragmatic and less abstract concept of 'reasonableness.' What we need is more open-minded, informal reasonableness and less inappropriately mathematical rationality. Only then, Toulmin argues, can the idea of reason regain its rightful good name. -- Anthony Gottlieb Los Angeles Times 20010819 In this mature work, Toulmin...sums up a distinguished scholarly career spent tenaciously pursuing this and related questions. He adroitly integrates the arguments from his previous works...in a broad, humanistic vision of how to restore the balance of reason maintained in Greek antiquity...Toulmin employs a rich array of examples and accessible prose...Recommended. -- T. B. Leiniger Choice 20020401 The argument in the book is wide-ranging and fluently expressed...Toulmin has taken on board arguments presented in debate by experienced practitioners, such as in the account of development economists and the water systems in Bali, his favorite vignette to illustrate the situatedness of economic relations. He ranges across the disciplines from astronomy to international relations, with a concern for professions, government policy making and the role of NGOs. -- Richard Ennals Concepts and Transformation