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Ethics and Practical Reasoning

Ethics 127 (2):353 - 382 (2017)

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  1. The Possibility of Practical Reason.J. David Velleman - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 121 (3):263-275.
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  • Reducing Reasons.Matthew Silverstein - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 10 (1):1-22.
    Reasons are considerations that figure in sound reasoning. This is considered by many philosophers to be little more than a platitude. I argue that it actually has surprising and far-reaching metanormative implications. The view that reasons are linked to sound reasoning seems platitudinous only because we tend to assume that soundness is a normative property, in which case the view merely relates one normative phenomenon (reasons) to another (soundness). I argue that soundness is also a descriptive phenomenon, one we can (...)
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  • What Happens When Someone Acts?J. David Velleman - 1992 - Mind 101 (403):461-481.
    What happens when someone acts? A familiar answer goes like this. There is something that the agent wants, and there is an action that he believes conducive to its attainment. His desire for the end, and his belief in the action as a means, justify taking the action, and they jointly cause an intention to take it, which in turn causes the corresponding movements of the agent's body. I think that the standard story is flawed in several respects. The flaw (...)
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  • How Truth Governs Belief.Nishi Shah - 2003 - Philosophical Review 112 (4):447-482.
    Why, when asking oneself whether to believe that p, must one immediately recognize that this question is settled by, and only by, answering the question whether p is true? Truth is not an optional end for first-personal doxastic deliberation, providing an instrumental or extrinsic reason that an agent may take or leave at will. Otherwise there would be an inferential step between discovering the truth with respect to p and determining whether to believe that p, involving a bridge premise that (...)
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  • Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
    What is the relation between a reason and an action when the reason explains the action by giving the agent's reason for doing what he did? We may call such explanations rationalizations, and say that the reason rationalizes the action. In this paper I want to defend the ancient - and common-sense - position that rationalization is a species of ordinary causal explanation. The defense no doubt requires some redeployment, but not more or less complete abandonment of the position, as (...)
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  • What Practical Reasoning Must Be If We Act for Our Own Reasons.Sarah Buss - 1999 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 77 (4):399 – 421.
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  • Autonomy and Hierarchy.Michael E. Bratman - 2003 - Social Philosophy and Policy 20 (2):156-176.
    In autonomous action the agent herself directs and governs the action. But what is it for the agent herself to direct and to govern? One theme in a series of articles by Harry G. Frankfurt is that we can make progress in answering this question by appeal to higher-order conative attitudes. Frankfurt's original version of this idea is that in acting of one's own free will, one is not acting simply because one desires so to act. Rather, it is also (...)
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  • A Plea for Excuses.John Austin - 1956 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 57:1--30.
    The subject of this paper, Excuses, is one not to be treated, but only to be introduced, within such limits. It is, or might be, the name of a whole branch, even a ramiculated branch, of philosophy, or at least of one fashion of philosophy. I shall try, therefore, first to state what the subject is, why it is worth studying, and how it may be studied, all this at a regrettably lofty level: and then I shall illustrate, in more (...)
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  • Practical Reasoning and Weakness of the Will.Michael Bratman - 1979 - Noûs 13 (2):153-171.
    In a case of weak-willed action the agent acts-freely, deliberately, and for a reason-in a way contrary to his best judgment, even though he thinks he could act in accordance with his best judgment. The possibility of such actions has posed one problem in moral philosophy, the exact nature of the problem it poses another. In this essay I offer an answer to the latter problem: an explanation of why a plausible account of free, deliberate and purposive action seems to (...)
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  • Practical Reason.R. Jay Wallace - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Practical reason is the general human capacity for resolving, through reflection, the question of what one is to do. Deliberation of this kind is practical in at least two senses. First, it is practical in its subject matter, insofar as it is concerned with action. But it is also practical in its consequences or its issue, insofar as reflection about action itself directly moves people to act. Our capacity for deliberative self-determination raises two sets of philosophical problems. First, there are (...)
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  • Free Agency.Gary Watson - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (April):205-20.
    In the subsequent pages, I want to develop a distinction between wanting and valuing which will enable the familiar view of freedom to make sense of the notion of an unfree action. The contention will be that, in the case of actions that are unfree, the agent is unable to get what he most wants, or values, and this inability is due to his own "motivational system." In this case the obstruction to the action that he most wants to do (...)
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  • Skepticism About Weakness of Will.Gary Watson - 1977 - Philosophical Review 86 (3):316-339.
    My concern in this paper will be to explore and develop a version of nonsocratic skepticism about weakness of will. In my view, socratism is incorrect, but like Socrates, I think that the common understanding of weakness of will raises serious problems. Contrary to socratism, it is possible for a person knowingly to act contrary to his or her better judgment. But this description does not exhaust the common view of weakness. Also implicit in this view is the belief that (...)
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  • Weakness of Will, Commensurability, and the Objects of Deliberation and Desire.David Wiggins - 1978 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 79:251 - 277.
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  • Another World.James Dreier - 2015 - In Robert Johnson & Michael Smith (eds.), Passions and Projections Themes from the Philosophy of Simon Blackburn. Oxford University Press. pp. 155-171.
    The metaethics and metametaethics of Scanlon's "Reasons Fundamentalism".
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