Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (3):294-306 (2005)

Authors
Mark Risjord
Emory University
Abstract
To explain an intentional action one must exhibit the agent’s reasons. Donald Davidson famously argued that the only clear way to understand action explanation is to hold that reasons are causes. Davidson’s discussion conflated two issues: whether reasons are causes and whether reasons causally explain intentional action. Contemporary work on explanation and normativity help disentangle these issues and ground an argument that intentional action explanations cannot be a species of causal explanation. Interestingly, this conclusion is consistent with Davidson’s conclusion that reasons are causes. In other words, reasons are causes, but rationalizing explanations are not causal explanations. Key Words: action theory • explanation • causal explanation • rationality • Donald Davidson.
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DOI 10.1177/0048393105277987
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References found in this work BETA

Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
Science, Perception and Reality.Wilfrid Sellars (ed.) - 1963 - New York: Humanities Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

What is a Social Practice?Sally Haslanger - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82:231-247.
Norms, Invariance, and Explanatory Relevance.David Henderson - 2005 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (3):324-338.
Philosophie der Soziologie.Simon Lohse & Jens Greve - 2017 - In Simon Lohse & Thomas A. C. Reydon (eds.), Grundriss Wissenschaftsphilosophie. Die Philosophien der Einzelwissenschaften. Hamburg, Deutschland: pp. 543-582.

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