Internalism, (Super)fragile Reasons, and the Conditional Fallacy

Philosophical Papers 32 (2):171-184 (2003)
Abstract David Sobel (2001) objects to Bernard Williams's internalism, the view that an agent has a reason to perform an action only if she has some motive that will be served by performing that action. Sobel is an unusual challenger in that he endorses neo-Humean subjectivism, ?the view that it is the agent's subjective motivational set that makes it the case that an agent does or does not have a reason to φ? (219). Sobel's objection in fact arises from this very commitment. Internalism, he says, is incompatible with the best subjectivist accounts of reasons for action?accounts that suggest that there are what he calls fragile reasons and perhaps also superfragile ones, both of which allegedly provide for counterexamples to internalism. I argue that such reasons do not in fact threaten internalism. I then briefly explore whether internalism is vulnerable to a related charge?that it commits the conditional fallacy
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