Authors
Olof Leffler
University of Gothenburg
Abstract
It is often thought that desire-based versions of reasons internalism, according to which our practical reasons depend on what we desire, are committed to denying that we have any categorical reasons. I shall argue, however, that such theories are committed to a universal desire which gives rise to an unexpected categorical reason – a reason to know our surroundings. I will arrive at this conclusion by using Fichte’s argument for thinking that security from unpredictable and powerful forces of nature is constitutive of agency. Fichte thinks this is the case because we ought to aim at knowledge of our surroundings, and such environments uniquely facilitate it. I show that his argument fails, but the point that we ought to aim at – or desire – such knowledge is fundamentally sound. This aim can then be leveraged to generate a categorical reason when embedded in an account of agency typically embraced by internalists.
Keywords Michelle Kosch  J.G. Fichte  reasons internalism  categorical reasons  constitutivism
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DOI 10.1007/s10790-021-09843-9
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Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
The Possibility of Altruism.Thomas Nagel - 1970 - Oxford Clarendon Press.
Slaves of the Passions.Mark Schroeder - 2007 - Oxford University Press.

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