David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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International Journal of Philosophical Studies 13 (1):69 – 82 (2005)
Given the Sellarsian distinction between the space of causes and the space of reasons, the naturalist seeks to articulate how these two spaces are unproblematically related. In Mind and World (1996) John McDowell suggests that such a naturalism can be achieved by pointing out that we work our way into the space of reasons by the process of upbringing he calls Bildung. 'The resulting habits of thought and action', writes McDowell, 'are second nature' (p. 84). In this paper I expose one implication of this remark, namely, that Bildung naturalism requires a conception of a type of action which is at once rational and habitual. Current orthodoxies in the philosophy of action prevent these two features from easily co-existing. Whilst various reconciliations are possible, I argue that only one keeps Bildung naturalism intact. This, however, commits the naturalist to a conception of reasons more radically external than any to be found in current literature, according to which the agent need have no conception of what her reasons are at the time of acting. This is what I call acting in the dark of reasons. One upshot for McDowell is that this conception of reasons may be in tension with some of his other claims.
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References found in this work BETA
Simon Blackburn (1998/2000). Ruling Passions. Oxford University Press.
Jonathan Dancy (2000). Practical Reality. Oxford University Press.
Gilbert Ryle (1949/2002). The Concept of Mind. Hutchinson and Co.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1969/1991). On Certainty (Ed. Anscombe and von Wright). Harper Torchbooks.
Citations of this work BETA
Hanno Sauer (2012). Educated Intuitions. Automaticity and Rationality in Moral Judgement. Philosophical Explorations 15 (3):255-275.
Donnchadh O'Conaill (2013). On Being Motivated. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (4):579-595.
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