Right and wrong reasons in folk-psychological explanation

Davidson argued that the fact we can have a reason for acting, and yet not be the reason why we act, requires explanation of action in terms of the agent's reasons to be causal. The present paper agrees with Dickenson (_Pacific Philosophical Quarterly_, 2007) in taking this argument to be an inference to the best explanation. However, its target phenomenon is the very existence of a case in which an agent has more than one reason, but acts exclusively becaue of one reason. Folk psychology appears to allow for this phenomenon. However, appreciation of 'rationalization' as a form of contrastive explanation reveals the existence of the Davidsonian possibility to the problematic. Claims that 'I did it because of R1, not because of R2' are entertained in folk psychology, and may be sincere or insincere. But as reports of conscious practical reasoning, even when sincere, they are not authoritative about the mechanism of motivation
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DOI 10.1080/09672550903164442
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