How Do Reasons Transmit to Non-Necessary Means?

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):271-285 (2021)
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Which principles govern the transmission of reasons from ends to means? Some philosophers have suggested a liberal transmission principle, according to which agents have an instrumental reason for an action whenever this action is a means for them to do what they have non-instrumental reason to do. In this paper, we (i) discuss the merits and demerits of the liberal transmission principle, (ii) argue that there are good reasons to reject it, and (iii) present an alternative, less liberal transmission principle, which allows us to accommodate those phenomena that seem to support the liberal transmission principle while avoiding its problems.

Author Profiles

Benjamin Kiesewetter
Bielefeld University
Jan Gertken
Humboldt University, Berlin


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