Keshav Singh
University of Alabama, Birmingham
In this paper, I defend an account of the reasons for which we act, believe, and so on for any Ф such that there can be reasons for which we Ф. Such reasons are standardly called motivating reasons. I argue that three dominant views of motivating reasons all fail to capture the ordinary concept of a motivating reason. I show this by drawing out three constraints on what motivating reasons must be, and demonstrating how each view fails to satisfy at least one of these constraints. I then propose and defend my own account of motivating reasons, which I call the Guise of Normative Reasons Account. On the account I defend, motivating reasons are propositions. A proposition is the reason for which someone Ф-s when she represents that proposition as a normative reason to Ф, and her representation explains, in the right way, her Ф-ing. As I argue, the Guise of Normative Reasons Account satisfies all three constraints on what motivating reasons must be, and weathers several objections that might be leveled against propositionalist views.
Keywords motivating reasons  normative reasons  guise of the good  reasons for which
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/phpr.12497
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.

View all 52 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Group Action Without Group Minds.Kenneth Silver - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (2):321-342.
The Guise of Good Reason.Ulf Hlobil - 2021 - Philosophical Explorations 24 (2):204-224.
The Matter of Motivating Reasons.J. J. Cunningham - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (5):1563-1589.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Normative Requirements.John Broome - 1999 - Ratio 12 (4):398–419.
The Guise of the Good.Francesco Orsi - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (10):714-724.
Intelligibilität und Normativität.Norbert Anwander - 2002 - Analyse & Kritik 24 (2):231-248.
Obedience and Believing a Person.Benjamin McMyler - 2016 - Philosophical Investigations 39 (1):58-77.
Norm and Law in the Theory of Action.Ruth Macklin - 1968 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 11 (1-4):400 – 409.
Desires, Reasons, and Causes. [REVIEW]Stephen Darwall - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2):436–443.
The Guise of the Guise of the Bad.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (1):5-20.
Self‐Knowledge and the Guise of the Good.Amir Saemi - 2017 - Analytic Philosophy 58 (3):272-281.
The Guise of Reasons.Alex Gregory - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (1):63-72.


Added to PP index

Total views
408 ( #24,145 of 2,506,032 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
51 ( #16,789 of 2,506,032 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes