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Reasons and practical possibility

Robertson, Simon 2019. Reasons and practical possibility. Inquiry 62 (9-10) , pp. 1104-1135. 10.1080/0020174X.2018.1445026

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According to a common thesis about normative reasons for action, you have a reason to perform a given action only if you can act for that reason. This thesis has long had broad appeal and is intended to capture the practical character of practical reasons. I’ll call it the ‘Practicality Thesis’. Recently, however, various writers have developed subtly different objections to it, each designed to show that there can be actions you have a reason to perform even though you could not act for that reason––because, were you aware of the reason-giving facts in the ways needed to act for the reason, it would no longer be a reason for you to so act. This article defends the Practicality Thesis against such objections. It considers some extant defenses but shows that these are inadequate. It then advances an alternative approach designed to counter any structurally similar objection.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0020-174X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 November 2017
Date of Acceptance: 31 October 2017
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2020 22:34

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