David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):90–106 (2007)
Consider the following explanation: (1) George took his umbrella because it was just about to rain. This is an explanation of a quite distinctive sort. It is profoundly different from the sort of explanation we might use to explain, say, the movements of a bouncing ball or the gradual rise of the tide on a beach. Unlike these other types of explanations, it explains an agent’s behavior by describing the agent’s own _reasons_ for performing that behavior. Explanations that work in this way have a number of distinctive and important properties, and we will refer to them here as _reason explanations_. Looking at the use of reason explanations with a philosophical eye, one is apt to experience a certain puzzlement. One wants to know precisely what makes a given reason explanation true or false. So, for example, the explanation given above seems to be saying that George’s reason for taking his umbrella was that it was just about to rain. But what exactly makes it the case that this is George’s reason? Does he have to actually be.
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References found in this work BETA
Jonathan Dancy (2000). Practical Reality. Oxford University Press.
Joshua Knobe (2003). Intentional Action and Side Effects in Ordinary Language. Analysis 63 (3):190–194.
Alfred R. Mele (2003). Motivation and Agency. Oxford University Press.
G. E. M. Anscombe (1957/2000). Intention. Harvard University Press.
Alvin I. Goldman (1970). A Theory of Human Action. Princeton University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Joshua Knobe (2010). Person as Scientist, Person as Moralist. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):315.
James R. Beebe & Wesley Buckwalter (2010). The Epistemic Side-Effect Effect. Mind and Language 25 (4):474-498.
Shaun Nichols & Joseph Ulatowski (2007). Intuitions and Individual Differences: The Knobe Effect Revisited. Mind and Language 22 (4):346–365.
Dean Pettit & Joshua Knobe (2009). The Pervasive Impact of Moral Judgment. Mind and Language 24 (5):586-604.
Kevin Uttich & Tania Lombrozo (2010). Norms Inform Mental State Ascriptions: A Rational Explanation for the Side-Effect Effect. Cognition 116 (1):87–100.
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