Rationality and the Reactive Attitudes

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In Strawson’s “Freedom and Resentment”, the idea of the reactive attitudes is used to provide a corrective for an over-intellectualised picture of moral responsibility and of the moral life generally. But Strawson also tells us that in reasoning with someone our attitude towards them must be reactive. Taking up that thought, I argue that Strawson has also provided us with a corrective for an over-intellectualised picture of rationality. Drawing on a Wittgensteinian conception of the relation between thought and its expression, I argue that rationality presupposes participation in a form of engagement with others that is reactive in Strawson’s sense. I also throw fresh light on what Strawson understands by a reactive attitude.
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Accountability.Bennett, Jonathan

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