The Externalist's Examples

Alan H. Goldman

in Reasons from Within

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780199576906
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722288 | DOI:
The Externalist's Examples

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Elijah Millgram claims that we learn what reasons we have from experience or practical induction, not from our own motives. Derek Parfit and others claim that internalists cannot explain reasons for having particular desires. Kantians claim that we all have reasons to be moral and prudent, independently of our motivations. Joshua Gert argues that we have moral reasons that can justify our actions without presupposing or requiring motivation from us. This chapter counters these claims by arguing that what we learn in Millgram's examples is what we are actually disposed to enjoy or care about; that deeper concerns provide reasons for having particular desires; that we are not rationally required to be morally or prudentially motivated except by other concerns that we have; and that we are rationally required to act on the strongest reasons we have, but not on all (moral) reasons there are.

Keywords: practical induction; moral reasons; prudential reasons; desires; requiring reasons; justifying reasons

Chapter.  28127 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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