The Guise of Reasons

American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (1):63-72 (2013)
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In this paper it is argued that we should amend the traditional understanding of the view known as the guise of the good. The guise of the good is traditionally understood as the view that we only want to act in ways that we believe to be good in some way. But it is argued that a more plausible view is that we only want to act in ways that we believe we have normative reason to act in. This change – from formulating the view in terms of goodness to formulating it in terms of reasons – is significant because the revised view avoids various old and new counterexamples to the traditional view, because the revised view is better motivated than the traditional view, and because the revised view is better placed to explain certain features of desire than the traditional view. The paper finishes by showing that the conclusions reached are compatible with theories such as the buck passing account of value.
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