Reasons and impossibility

Philosophical Studies 136 (3):351-384 (2007)
Abstract
Many philosophers claim that it cannot be the case that a person ought to perform an action if this person cannot perform this action. However, most of these philosophers do not give arguments for the truth of this claim. In this paper, I argue that it is plausible to interpret this claim in such a way that it is entailed by the claim that there cannot be a reason for a person to perform an action if it is impossible that this person will perform this action. I then give three arguments for the truth of the latter claim, which are also arguments for the truth of the former claim as I interpret it.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Religion   Philosophy of Mind   Epistemology   Logic   Philosophy
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-005-4282-1>
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References found in this work BETA
Ethics Without Principles.Jonathan Dancy - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Engaging Reason: On the Theory of Value and Action.Joseph Raz - 1999 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Freedom and Reason.R. M. Hare - 1963 - Oxford, Clarendon Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Explaining the Instrumental Principle.Jonathan Way - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):487-506.
Should I Believe the Truth?Daniel Whiting - 2010 - Dialectica 64 (2):213-224.
How Reasons Are Sensitive to Available Evidence.Benjamin Kiesewetter - forthcoming - In Conor McHugh, Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Normativity: Epistemic and Practical. Oxford University Press.

View all 18 citations / Add more citations

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