Philosophical Studies 147 (2) (2010)
|Abstract||In this paper, I argue that a person can have a reason to do what she cannot do. In a nutshell, the argument is that a person can have derivate reasons relating to an action that she has a non-derivative reason to perform. There are clear examples of derivative reasons that a person has in cases where she cannot do what she (non-derivatively) has reason to do. She couldn’t have those derivative reasons, unless she also had the non-derivative reason to do what she cannot do. I discuss a number of objections to this view, in particular two: (1) The objection that if there were reasons to do what one cannot do, many of those would be ‘crazy reasons’, and (2) the worry that if there were such reasons, then agents would have reasons to engage in futile deliberations and tryings. I develop an explanation of ‘crazy reasons’ that shows that not all reasons to do the impossible are crazy and only those that are need to be filtered out, and, regarding the second objecting, I show that the reasons for trying as well as for taking the means to doing something—instrumental reasons in a broad sense—are different from the reasons for performing the action in the first place. They are affected by impossibility, and we can explain why that is so. The view I argue for is that a person may have a reason to do what she cannot do, but she does not have a reason to try to do so or to take means to realizing the impossible.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Bart Streumer (2010). Reasons, Impossibility and Efficient Steps: Reply to Heuer. Philosophical Studies 151 (1):79-86.
Cynthia Macdonald (2004). Self-Knowledge and the First Person. In M. Sie, Marc Slors & B. Van den Brink (eds.), Reasons of One's Own. Ashgate.
Pamela Hieronymi (2011). Reasons for Action. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (3pt3):407-427.
G. F. Schueler (2003). Reasons and Purposes: Human Rationality and the Teleological Explanation of Action. Oxford University Press.
Simon Robertson (2008). Not so Enticing Reasons. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (3):263 - 277.
Andrew Reisner (2008). Does Friendship Give Us Non-Derivative Partial Reasons. Les Ateliers De L'Éthique 3 (1):70-78.
David-Hillel Ruben (2010). The Causal and Deliberative Strength of Reasons for Action. In J. Aguilar & A. Buckareff (eds.), Causing Human Action: New Perspectives on the Causal Theory of Action. Bradford.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads126 ( #3,776 of 548,976 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #19,222 of 548,976 )
How can I increase my downloads?