Reasons One Has for Doing Something

Rüdiger Bittner

in Doing Things for Reasons

Published in print August 2001 | ISBN: 9780195143645
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833085 | DOI:
Reasons One Has for Doing Something

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This chapter takes up reasons one merely has, in contrast to reasons for which one does something. Rejecting the usual terminology of motivating and justifying reasons, the chapter argues that merely having a reason for doing something amounts to one's being in a situation where there is a state of affairs or event that could be a reason for which one did something. A reason one has is just the initial part of a history of one's doing it for that reason – an initial part, though, that may not get completed. On this account, a plurality of reasons one has for doing something, or for doing different things, is readily intelligible, as is one's doing something for one of the reasons one has rather than for another. The phenomena of advice and of deliberation can also be accounted for on this understanding of the reasons one has.

Keywords: action; advice; deliberation; justifying reasons; motivating reasons; reasons

Chapter.  5985 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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