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Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 15, 1990

Hugh J. McCann
Pages 57-77
DOI: 10.5840/jpr_1990_7

Practical Rationality
Some Kantian Reflections

Recent views on practical rationality harmonize well with a fundamentally Kantian conception of the foundations of morality. Rationality in practical thinking is not a matter of valid reasoning, or of foIlowing maximization principles. From an agent-centered perspective, it consists in observing certain standards of consistency. In themselves, these standards lack the force of duties, hence there can be no irresolvable conflict between rationality and morality. Furthermore, the Kantian test of universalization for maxims of action may be scen as adapting agent-centered standards of consistency to the task of specifying moral duties, so that objective rationality and morality are one and the same.