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Explanation, Internalism, and Reasons for Action*

Abstract

These days, just about every philosophical debate seems to generate a position labeled internalism. The debate I will be joining in this essay concerns reasons for action and their connection, or lack of connection, to motivation. The internalist position in this debate posits a certain essential connection between reasons and motivation, while the externalist position denies such a connection. This debate about internalism overlaps an older debate between Humeans and Kantians about the exclusive reason-giving power of desires. As we will see, however, while these debates overlap, the new debate is importantly different from the old debate.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Bernard Williams , “Internal Reasons and the Obscurity of Blame,” in Williams, Making Sense of Humanity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 35.

John McDowell , “Might There Be External Reasons?” in J. E. J. Altham and Ross Harrison , eds., World, Mind, and Ethics: Essays on the Ethical Philosophy of Bernard Williams (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).

Connie Rosati , “Internalism and the Good for a Person,” Ethics 106, no. 2 (1996): 307.

Peter Railton , “Facts and Values,” Philosophical Topics 14, no. 2 (1986): 531

Robert Shaver , “Sidgwick's False Friends,” Ethics 107, no. 2 (1997): 314–20

David Sobel , “Well-Being as the Object of Moral Consideration,” Economics and Philosophy 14, no. 2 (1998): 249–83

Stephen Darwall 's “Self-Interest and Self-Concern,” Social Philosophy and Policy 14, no. 1 (1997): 158–78.

David Sobel , “Full Information Accounts of Well-Being,” Ethics 104, no. 4 (1994): 784810.

Peter Railton , “Aesthetic Value, Moral Value, and the Ambitions of Naturalism,” in Jerrold Levinson , ed., Aesthetics and Ethics: Essays at the Intersection (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

Robert K. Shope , “The Conditional Fallacy in Contemporary Philosophy,” Journal of Philosophy 75, no. 8 (1978): 397413

Robert K. Shope , “Rawls, Brandt, and the Definition of Rational Desires,” Canadian Journal of Philosophy 8, no. 2 (1978): 329–40.

Connie Rosati , “Persons, Perspectives, and Full Information Accounts of the Good,” Ethics 105, no. 2 (1995): 296325.

David Sobel , “Subjective Accounts of Reasons for Action,” Ethics 111, no. 3 (2001): 461–92.

Christine Korsgaard , “Skepticism About Practical Reason,” in Korsgaard, Creating the Kingdom of Ends (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996)

David Sobel , “Do the Desires of Rational Agents Converge?Analysis 59, no. 3 (1999): 137–47.

David Sobel and David Copp , “Against Direction of Fit Accounts of Belief and Desire,” Analysis 61, no. 1 (2001): 4453.

Robert Johnson 's excellent “Internal Reasons and the Conditional Fallacy,” Philosophical Quarterly 49, no. 194 (1999): 5371

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Social Philosophy and Policy
  • ISSN: 0265-0525
  • EISSN: 1471-6437
  • URL: /core/journals/social-philosophy-and-policy
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