Metaphilosophy 44 (4):440-450 (2013)

Abstract
What kind of thing is a reason for action? Are reasons for action subjective states of the agent, such as desires and/or beliefs? Or are they, rather, objective features of situations that favor certain actions? The suggestion offered in this article is that neither strategy satisfies. What is needed is a third category for classifying reasons which makes them out to be neither purely subjective nor purely objective. In brief: a reason for action is a feature of the situation that matters to the agent. On this proposal, subjective states of the agent are indeed indispensable in characterizing reasons for action. Precisely which set of situational features matter to an agent—precisely what shape the agent experiences the situation as having—depends on the agent's psychological makeup. Those features themselves are not psychological states, however, and it is precisely those features that constitute the agent's reasons for action
Keywords situation  normative reason  motivating reason  reasons‐explanation  psychologism  reason for action  salience  explanatory reason  action  shape  objectivism
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DOI 10.1111/meta.12040
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References found in this work BETA

Ethics Without Principles.Jonathan Dancy - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
Practical Reality.Jonathan Dancy - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
Mind and World.John Mcdowell - 1996 - Philosophical Quarterly 46 (182):99-109.

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