Reasons for Action and Action for Reasons

Alfred R. Mele

in Motivation and Agency

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780195156171
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833467 | DOI:
 Reasons for Action and Action for Reasons

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Investigates the connection between motivation and reasons for action. It begins with a sketch of Donald Davidson's influential version of the view that reasons for action are states of mind. It then undermines some criticisms of a broadly Davidsonian view of action explanation, including objections by Rosalind Hursthouse and T. M. Scanlon. Finally, it builds a theoretical bridge between work on its central topic by two groups of theorists: those guided primarily by a concern with the evaluation of actions or their agents (“evaluators”), and those primarily guided instead by an interest in the explanation of intentional actions (“explainers”). Motivational and normative notions of reasons for action are distinguished.

Keywords: action; agent; Davidson; explanation of action; motivation; motivational reason; normative reason; reasons; Scanlon

Chapter.  9975 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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