The Reasons that Matter

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (1):1 – 20 (2006)
Abstract
Bernard Williams's motivational reasons-internalism fails to capture our first-order reasons judgements, while Derek Parfit's nonnaturalistic reasons-externalism cannot explain the nature or normative authority of reasons. This paper offers an intermediary view, reformulating scepticism about external reasons as the claim not that they don't exist but rather that they don't matter. The end-relational theory of normative reasons is proposed, according to which a reason for an action is a fact that explains why the action would be good relative to some end, where the relevant end for any ascription of reasons is determined by the speaker's conversational context. Because these ends need not be the agent's ends, Williams is wrong to reject the existence of external reasons. But contra Parfit, a reason for action is only important for an agent if it is motivationally internal to that agent.
Keywords internal and external reasons  Derek Parfit  Bernard Williams  End-relational theory  Normativity
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/00048400600571661
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.

View all 33 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Reasons as Premises of Good Reasoning.Jonathan Way - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (2).
Oughts and Ends.Stephen Finlay - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 143 (3):315 - 340.
Reason Claims and Contrastivism About Reasons.Justin Snedegar - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (2):231-242.

View all 29 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Does Friendship Give Us Non-Derivative Partial Reasons.Andrew Reisner - 2008 - Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 3 (1):70-78.
Reasons, Values, and Rational Actions.Paul K. Moser - 1990 - Journal of Philosophical Research 15:127-151.
Reasons for Action.Pamela Hieronymi - 2011 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (3pt3):407-427.
Are There Any Nonmotivating Reasons for Action?Noa Latham - 2003 - In Sven Walter & Heinz-Dieter Heckmann (eds.), Physicalism and Mental Causation. Imprint Academic. pp. 273.
Reasons and Motivation.Derek Parfit - 1997 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 71 (1):99–130.
External Reasons.Dean Lubin - 2009 - Metaphilosophy 40 (2):273-291.
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
642 ( #2,933 of 2,236,103 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
96 ( #3,040 of 2,236,103 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature