Internalism, (Super)fragile Reasons, and the Conditional Fallacy

Philosophical Papers 32 (2):171-184 (2003)
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Abstract

Abstract David Sobel (2001) objects to Bernard Williams's internalism, the view that an agent has a reason to perform an action only if she has some motive that will be served by performing that action. Sobel is an unusual challenger in that he endorses neo-Humean subjectivism, ?the view that it is the agent's subjective motivational set that makes it the case that an agent does or does not have a reason to φ? (219). Sobel's objection in fact arises from this very commitment. Internalism, he says, is incompatible with the best subjectivist accounts of reasons for action?accounts that suggest that there are what he calls fragile reasons and perhaps also superfragile ones, both of which allegedly provide for counterexamples to internalism. I argue that such reasons do not in fact threaten internalism. I then briefly explore whether internalism is vulnerable to a related charge?that it commits the conditional fallacy

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Teresa Robertson Ishii
University of California at Santa Barbara

Citations of this work

Reasons for Action: Internal Vs. External.Stephen Finlay & Mark Schroeder - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Varieties of Reasons/Motives Internalism.Steven Arkonovich - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (3):210-219.
Sound Advice and Internal Reasons.Ariela Tubert - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (2):181-199.
Advisors and Deliberation.Steven Arkonovich - 2011 - The Journal of Ethics 15 (4):405-424.

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References found in this work

Facts and Values.Peter Railton - 1986 - Philosophical Topics 14 (2):5-31.
The Logic of What Might Have Been.Nathan Salmon - 1989 - Philosophical Review 98 (1):3-34.
The Conditional Fallacy in Contemporary Philosophy.Robert K. Shope - 1978 - Journal of Philosophy 75 (8):397-413.

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