A Puzzle About Knowledge in Action

Logique Et Analyse 56 (223):287-301 (2013)
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I question the widespread assumption that when we act for reasons we know what our reasons are. I argue that an agent may act in ignorance, or partial ignorance, regarding his or her reasons, and an action involving ignorance of this sort may still qualify as done for reasons. I conclude from here that we need to develop a suitable new model of action for reasons, and I proceed to offer such a model. Briefly, I argue that an action qualifies as done for reasons when the agent performing that action possesses a reasons explanation of it and is (at least partly) motivated to act by the fact he possesses such an explanation. The crucial point is that the agent may not be motivated – not even in part – by the content of the reasons that constitute the explanation in question.
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First archival date: 2013-08-17
Latest version: 2 (2013-08-26)
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Intention.Anscombe, G. E. M.
Rationality in Action.Searle, John R.

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