Dialogue 46 (3):459-479 (2007)
AbstractABSTRACTThis article defends the idea that causal relations between reasons and actions are wholly irrelevant to the explanatory efficacy of reason-explanations. The analysis of reason-explanations provided in this article shows that the so-called “problem of explanatory force” is solved, not by putative causal relations between the reasons for which agents act and their actions, but rather by the intentions that agents necessarily have when they act for a reason. Additionally, the article provides a critique of the principal source of support for the thesis that reason-explanations are causal explanations, namely, Davidson's argument in “Actions, Reasons, and Causes.” It is shown that Davidson's argument for this thesis rests crucially on two mistakes: his definition of intentional action and his ontological prejudice against intentions.
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References found in this work
Essays on Actions and Events: Philosophical Essays Volume 1.Donald Davidson - 1970 - Clarendon Press.
White Queen Psychology and Other Essays for Alice.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 1993 - MIT Press.
Springs of Action: Understanding Intentional Behavior.Alfred R. Mele - 1992 - Oxford University Press.