By Mark Okrent
"Work like Okrent's seeks a broader audience within contemporary philosophy, by showing how a line of argument emerging from reflection on Heidegger (and Aristotle, Kant, and Hegel) is crucial to a wide range of work in contemporary philosophy of mind and language. What identifies 'Continental philosophy' at its best nowadays is not textual references or argumentative style, but substantive thematic continuities and argumentative engagement. In these terms, Rational Animals is at the forefront of contemporary Continental philosophy, and indeed, will be the most important book published in this area in some time."
Joseph Rouse, Wesleyan University
Rational Animals: The Teleological Roots of Intentionality offers an original account of the intentionality of human mental states, such as beliefs and desires.
The account of intentionality in Rational Animals is broadly biological in its basis, emphasizing the continuity between human intentionality and the levels of intentionality that should be attributed to animal actions and states.
Establishing the goal-directed character of animal behavior, Mark Okrent argues that instrumentally rational action is a species of goal-directed behavior that is idiosyncratic to individual agents and is distinguished by its novelty and flexibility. He also argues that some nonlinguistic animals are capable of instrumental rationality and that in the first instance, the contents of beliefs and desires are individuated by the explanatory role of those states in rationxadally accounting for such instrumentally rational behavior.
The account of instrumental rationality offered in Rational Animals allows for understanding the practical rationality of linguistically competent human beings as a distinctive capacity of social animals capable of undertaking roles governed by socially sanctioned norms.
Rational Animals will be of interest to cognitive scientists, philosophers of mind, philosophers of biology, philosophers of action, ethologists, and those interested in the debates concerning animal intelligence.
Mark Okrent is a professor of philosophy at Bates College in Maine. He is the author of Heidegger’s Pragmatism as well as numerous articles on intentionality, teleology, Heidegger, and related topics. More info →
Save 20% ($23.16)
Save 20% ($64)
US and Canada only
Availability and price vary according to vendor.
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
In Prophetic Politics, Philip J. Harold offers an original interpretation of the political dimension of Emmanuel Levinas’s thought. Harold argues that Levinas’s mature position in Otherwise Than Being breaks radically with the dialogical inclinations of his earlier Totality and Infinity and that transformation manifests itself most clearly in the peculiar nature of Levinas’s relationship to politics.Levinas’s
To take the mess of life and make meaning from it is what all poets seek to do. For Will Wells, recipient of the thirteenth annual Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, this includes reaching across centuries and continents, into the minds and hearts of disparate individuals—Albert Einstein, Andrea Yates, the traveler from Porlock, Dante, or Holocaust survivors, including his own grandmother—to extract the personal value embedded there for him.By
A classic in social and political philosophy. In his characteristic and provocative dialectic style, John Dewey clarifies the meaning and implications of such concepts as “the public,” “the state,” “government,” and “political democracy”; distinguishes his a posteriori reasoning from a priori reasoning which, he argues, permeates less meaningful discussions of basic concepts; and repeatedly demonstrates the interrelationships between fact and theory.
Kant scholars since the early nineteenth century have disaxadgreed about how to interpret his theory of moral motivation. Kant tells us that the feeling of respect is the incentive to moral action, but he is notoriously ambiguous on the question of what exactly this means. In Kant and the Role of Pleasure in Moral Action, Iain Morrisson offers a new view on Kant’s theory of moral action.In
Sign up to be notified when new Philosophy titles come out.
We will only use your email address to notify you of new titles in the subject area(s) you follow. We will never share your information with third parties.