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Title: The remit of reasons
Author: Cunningham, Joseph John
ISNI:       0000 0004 5924 1888
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
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There are reasons for us to act in certain ways and think certain things. We can recognise those reasons for what they are and respond to them accordingly. This thesis is an investigation of that phenomenon. In particular, it constitutes an attempt to resist certain ways in which our understanding of it can be distorted by letting our account of it be informed by bad cases of responding to reasons: cases in which one takes something to be a reason and responds accordingly by acting or thinking in the way it seems to one to recommend, even though one fails (blamelessly) to act or think for a genuine reason. I examine and reject three ways in which the possibility of bad cases might distort our thinking about the phenomenon at issue. First, we should reject the thought that the subject is able to act or think for the reason that p in both bad cases and good, so that acting or believing for a reason cannot simply be identical to the success condition of responding to a genuine reason. Second, we should reject the thought that the reasons for which we act and think are psychological features of ourselves, because that must be so in bad cases, and what goes for bad cases goes across the board. Finally, we should reject the thought that acting in response to a genuine reason involves only a rationalising explanation of the same type as that which is present in the bad case. The result is a vindication of the position promoted by Raz (2011): responding to reasons is a matter of acting or thinking in a way than manifests one's knowledge of the reasons there are for one to so act or think, so that the reasons in question, which are usually facts about the external world, explain why one does so qua reasons. Bad cases are a different kind of thing entirely.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts & Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BC Logic