Reasons, causes, and contrasts

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (1):1–23 (2007)
Abstract
The standard argument for the causal theory of action is "Davidson's Challenge": explain the connection between reasons and actions without appealing to the idea that reasons cause actions. I argue that this is an argument to the best contrastive explanation. After examining the nature of contrastive explanation in detail, I show that the causalist does not yet have the best explanation. The best explanation would appeal further to the motivational strength of reasons. Finally, I show how this undermines the argument for causalism, since noncausalists, too, can meet Davidson's Challenge by appealing to motivational strength to explain the cases at issue.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0114.2007.00278.x
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