Reasons, Wants and Values

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):333 - 347 (1974)

Abstract

My aim in this paper is to show how confusion and unclarity about reasons for action has led to serious error in ethics and the philosophy of action, and to try to set matters right. In Part I I set out what reasons for doing are, and try to make clear the distinction between reasons as justifying actions and reasons as motivating them. In Part II I try to show how, even in the ideal situation of successful and correct deliberation, a justifying reason is never identical with a motivating one, since they are two quite different sorts of thing. However a motivating reason and what one takes to be a justifying reason may be the same. In Part Ill I show how failing to make these distinctions leads to paradoxes and absurdities in the philosophy of action. It emerges that a related distinction must be made between wanting, valuing, and being valuable.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,694

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2011-05-29

Downloads
10 (#906,839)

6 months
1 (#388,319)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

Facts and Values.Gerald E. Myers - 1965 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 26 (2):280-281.
Reasons for Action.James Rachels - 1971 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):173 - 187.

Add more references

Citations of this work

On Value-Laden Science.Zina B. Ward - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 85:54-62.
The Two Senses of Desire.Wayne A. Davis - 1984 - Philosophical Studies 45 (2):181-195.
Desire, Reason and Distributive Justice.Joseph A. Diorio - 1981 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 13 (2):17–29.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Intrinsic Values and Reasons for Action.Ralph Wedgwood - 2009 - In Ernest Sosa & Enrique Villanueva (eds.), Metaethics. Wiley Periodicals. pp. 342-363.
Reasons, Values, and Rational Actions.Paul K. Moser - 1990 - Journal of Philosophical Research 15:127-151.
When Hard Choices Become Easy.Christopher Knapp - 2004 - American Journal of Philosophy 41 (4):232-330.
Scheler on Feeling and Values.Jonathan J. Sanford - 2002 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 76:165-181.
Values, Reasons and Perspectives.Alan Thomas - 1997 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 97 (1):61–80.
Converging on Values.Donald C. Hubin - 1999 - Analysis 59 (4):355–361.
Reason and Value.E. J. Bond - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.