Chapter

Internal Reasons and Contractualist Impartiality

Alan Thomas

in Value and Context

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780198250173
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191604072 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198250177.003.0005
 Internal Reasons and Contractualist Impartiality

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This chapter examines a proposal concerning the nature of practical reasons: that all such reasons are internal reasons. It is the first obstacle that was placed in the way of the Wittgensteinian cognitivists’ position by Bernard Williams. Williams’s arguments are presented in a different light from the way in which they are usually understood. The mention of Humeanism in his initial presentation of his ideas led to Williams being viewed as a representative of someone committed to the Humean theory of motivation, or to a Humean view of the self or of the psychological. Williams’s position is seen as a set of relatively neutral constraints on the very idea of a practical reason.

Keywords: practical reasons; internal reasons; cognitivism; Bernard Williams; Humeanism

Chapter.  17848 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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