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In Praise of Reason


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Some psychologists and philosophers have played down the scope of reason in our lives. Michael Lynch has done a splendid job of explaining what reason is, and why there is no good excuse for abandoning the Enlightenment's best idea: that we share a common currency of reason with our fellow human beings. What's striking about the book is the light touch with which the author handles profound arguments. -- Anthony Gottlieb, author of The Dream of Reason Objective reason stands to reason, and is to be followed for that reason. How can this be so and what are the implications? The extensive answer in this book combines philosophical depth with historical and thematic breadth. It attains rigor without jargon, clarity with concision. It makes its case against currents of relativism in philosophical thought, and against currents of dogmatic conservatism in political thought. This needs to be done again and again, and Michael Lynch does it very well. -- Ernest Sosa, Board of Governors Professor of Philosophy, Rutgers University

About the Author

Michael P. Lynch is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut and the author of Truth in Context: An Essay on Pluralismand Objectivity and True to Life: Why Truth Matters, both published by the MIT Press.


In Praise of Reason offers a very thoughtful, balanced, and persuasive defence of the value of using reason as the basis for collective decision making-it is an argument that scpetics and defenders alike should read.-Political Studies Review

Writing in a cogent, readable style, Lynch shows that reason is so intimately bound up with our emotions that it touches nearly every aspect of human consciousness.

-Review of Metaphysics

Smart and innovative...Lynch writes a strong and easily accessible response to skepticism about reason and scientific inquiry...I highly recommend.

-Essays in Philosophy

This fun little book...shines with interest. Like a gifted interlocutor it engages and excites its readers, always drawing them into dialogue (if not always convincing them), and always leaves them better off for it.

-Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

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