Explaining our Choices: Reid on Motives, Character and Effort

Journal of Scottish Philosophy 5 (2):187-212 (2007)
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Libertarians, like Thomas Reid, hold that motives do not causally necessitate our choices. The problem that arises is to explain how the agent decides to act according to one motive and not the other. In light of some objections brought up by Leibniz and Edwards but also by contemporary compatibilists such as Haji and Goetz, I examine Thomas Reid's possible answer to this problem. I argue that to explain our choices Reid would appeal not only to motives and character traits but also to the amount of effort needed to choose what is best. I also address Reid's criticism of the implicit presupposition of the Principle of Suffi cient Reason. My aim is therefore to explore, clarify and defend Reid's account of agency in choicemaking



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Esther Kroeker
University of Antwerp

Citations of this work

William King on Free Will.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
Thomas Reid on Character and Freedom.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2012 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 29 (2):159-176.

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References found in this work

Free Will and Luck.Alfred R. Mele - 2006 - New York, US: Oxford University Press.
Persons and Causes: The Metaphysics of Free Will.Timothy O'Connor - 2000 - New York, US: Oxford University Press USA.
Free will and luck: Reply to critics.Alfred R. Mele - 2007 - Philosophical Explorations 10 (2):153 – 155.
Ultimate Responsibility and Dumb Luck*: ALFRED R. MELE.Alfred R. Mele - 1999 - Social Philosophy and Policy 16 (2):274-293.
Thomas Reid on freedom and morality.William L. Rowe - 1991 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

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