Chapter

Reasons and the First Person

Jaegwon Kim

in Essays in the Metaphysics of Mind

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199585878
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595349 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199585878.003.0006
Reasons and the First Person

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“Reasons and the First Person” argues that an agent's understanding of his own action should be taken as the starting point in thinking about explanation of action. An agent understands his action when he can reconstruct, or recapitulate, the practical deliberation that led to the action. This requires the agent to use his beliefs and desires as reasons for or against his decision, not as evidence used to predict what his decision is going to be. The latter is to take a third‐person predictive stance toward the action, not the first‐person normative stance that is constitutive of agency. A third‐person understanding of action results from an empathetic projection of the first‐person point of view.

Keywords: action; understanding actions; explanation of action; first‐person point of view; predictive stance; projection

Chapter.  8178 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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