David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Psychology 1 (3):313-325 (1988)
Abstract The thesis that teleological explanations are best understood as causal explanations is defended (contra Valentine). I shift the focus of debate from behavior simpliciter to allegedly rational behavior. Teleological explanation, in the case of rational agents, involves reason?giving; and the reasons agents give for acting must be causative of that action if those agents are to be rational in practice. I argue initially that to abandon the claim that reasons are causes of action is to abandon that which renders many generalisations of systematic human behavior intelligible. I then adduce and defend against two major objections to the secondary thesis that reasons can be causes of action: (1) Experiments in attribution research suggest that agents are characteristically mistaken when reporting on the causes of their behavior; (2) Causal explanation must refer to some law, and reasons cannot enter into such laws as causes of action. In responding to these objections, I note that strict predictability is probably not a reliable indicator of genuine causal explanation; some explanations will afford predictions, others will not
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Donald Davidson (1980). Essays on Actions and Events. Oxford University Press.
A. Macintyre (1984). After Virtue. Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
Carl Gustav Hempel (1965). Aspects of Scientific Explanation. In Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Free Press 504.
Bernard Williams (1979). Internal and External Reasons. In Ross Harrison (ed.), Rational Action. Cambridge University Press 101-113.
J. L. Mackie (1974). The Cement of the Universe. Oxford,Clarendon Press.
Citations of this work BETA
D. Lynn Holt (1993). Rationality is Hard Work: An Alternative Interpretation of the Disruptive Effects of Thinking About Reasons. Philosophical Psychology 6 (3):251 – 266.
Similar books and articles
Scott R. Sehon (2000). An Argument Against the Causal Theory of Action Explanation. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (1):67-85.
Elizabeth Valentine (1988). Teleological Explanations and Their Relation to Causal Explanation in Psychology. Philosophical Psychology 1 (1):61-68.
Scott R. Sehon (1997). Deviant Causal Chains and the Irreducibility of Teleological Explanation. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (2):195–213.
Mark Risjord (2005). Reasons, Causes, and Action Explanation. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (3):294-306.
Duncan Macintosh (2007). Reasons and Purposes: Human Rationality and the Teleological Explanation of Action - By G.F. Schueler. Philosophical Books 48 (1):86-88.
Abraham S. Roth (1999). Reasons Explanations of Actions: Causal, Singular, and Situational. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (4):839-874.
Zhu Xu (2010). Laws, Causality and the Intentional Explanation of Action. Frontiers of Philosophy in China 5 (2):280-293.
Merrilee H. Salmon (2003). Causal Explanations of Behavior. Philosophy of Science 70 (4):720-738.
Jason Bridges (2011). Dispositions and Rational Explanation. In Jason Bridges Niko Kolodny & Wai-Hung Wong (eds.), The Possibility of Philosophical Understanding: Reflections on the Thought of Barry Stroud. Oxford University Press
Denis J. Hilton (1996). Mental Models and Causal Explanation: Judgements of Probable Cause and Explanatory Relevance. Thinking and Reasoning 2 (4):273 – 308.
Erik Weber, Jeroen Van Bouwel & Robrecht Vanderbeeken (2005). Forms of Causal Explanation. Foundations of Science 10 (4):437-454.
Added to index2010-09-14
Total downloads19 ( #206,525 of 1,934,588 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #269,469 of 1,934,588 )
How can I increase my downloads?