Chapter

How Reasons for Action Differ from Reasons for Belief

Alan Millar

in Spheres of Reason

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780199572939
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722165 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572939.003.0006

Series: Mind Association Occasional Series

How Reasons for Action Differ from Reasons for Belief

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It is assumed to be constitutive of believing that p that one is sensitive to whether or not it is true that p. Sensitivity, it is suggested, requires sensitivity to the requirements imposed by a certain truth-prescription. The truth-prescription dictates that a reason to believe that p must be such that believing that p for that reason is conducive to realizing belief's constitutive aim. It is argued that there is a constitutive aim of intentional action that can shed light on reasons for action: to act in such a way that one's action should have an aim-dependent point in the sense that the action should not be pointless given the intention informing it. This is argued to be more plausible than the classical view that the constitutive aim of intentional action is to realize some good.

Keywords: action; belief; constitutive aim; reasons; truth-prescription

Chapter.  11752 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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