Are Reasons Internal? and Are They Normative?

Rüdiger Bittner

in Doing Things for Reasons

Published in print August 2001 | ISBN: 9780195143645
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833085 | DOI:
Are Reasons Internal? and Are They Normative?

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The chapter defends the present account of reasons one has against challenges by internalism and normativism. Internalists like Bernard Williams hold that one does not have a reason for doing something unless one has also a motivation to do it or could acquire such motivation by sound deliberation on the basis of the motivation one has. However, the argument for this claim is based on the premise that only what motivates agents can explain actions, and nothing speaks in favor of accepting this premise. On the other hand, it is a consequence of the present account that reasons are not normative, contrary to the view of most of the literature, and the arguments offered by Korsgaard and Broome for the received view do turn out to be defective.

Keywords: Broome; internalism; Korsgaard; motivation; normativism; reasons; Bernard Williams

Chapter.  6832 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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