Allan Gibbard
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
On my own view likewise, if we look for a straight analysis of the concept of a reason, we will find none that works. I mean the concept of a reason to do something, as when I say that the health effects and addictiveness of smoking are reasons not to take it up. I don't mean the psychological concept of an “operative reason”, as Scanlon calls it, a person's reason for doing what she does, as in “Her reason for taking up smoking was that it would freak out her parents;” saying this doesn't commit us to thinking that that's any reason at all to take up smoking. Now for this normative concept of a reason to do something, I agree with Scanlon: we can't do better than he does by way of straight analysis; we can only say, somewhat uninformatively, that to be a reason to do something is to count in favor of doing it. On much the grounds he lays out, for instance, we can't translate talk of reasons into psychological claims about preferences or desires.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2010
ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2003.tb00251.x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,355
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Is the Liar Sentence Both True and False?Hartry Field - 2005 - In J. C. Beall & Bradley Armour-Garb (eds.), Deflationism and Paradox. Clarendon Press.
Humean Agent-Neutral Reasons?Daan Evers - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (1):55 – 67.
The Moral Status of Enabling Harm.Samuel C. Rickless - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1):66-86.
The Reasons That Matter.Stephen Finlay - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (1):1 – 20.
External Reasons.Dean Lubin - 2009 - Metaphilosophy 40 (2):273-291.


Added to PP index

Total views
35 ( #327,449 of 2,519,513 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #271,332 of 2,519,513 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes