Motives, Reasons, and Culturation

Philosophy Research Archives 9:245-264 (1983)
Abstract
The essay aims to sum up distinctions and relations between motives, purposes, and reasons, to ground a socio-cultural account of action. The method is selective critique of recent analyses and arguments.Motives are causal, but reasons are not. The construal of motives and purposes should be broader than usual. Purpose is that for the sake of which something is done, motive correlating to it as attitude to object; actions may count as intrinsic goods when done for their own sake; lastly, all actions are motivated. If a purpose is unreasoned and arbitrary, it doesn’t count as a reason, reasons being justificatory.Davidson’s breaching the distinction between reasons and causes can only be extenuated, not justified. That line holds by virtue of the way philosophy of culture, not philosophy of nature, makes sense of reasons in terms of approbative emulation. There is both a basis for dualism in the differentiation of culture from the world and one for monism in their mergence. Philosophy of action and ethics effectively suggest this joint divergence/mergence
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