Actions, Reasons, and Causes

Donald Davidson

Actions, Reasons, and Causes

En: The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 60, No. 23, American Philosophical Association,Eastern Division, Sixtieth Annual Meeting (Nov. 7, 1963), pp. 685-700.


“What is the relation between a reason and an action when the reason explains the action by giving the agent’s reason for doing what he did? We may call such explanations rationalizations, and say that the reason rationalizes the action.

In this paper I want to defend the ancient -and common-sense- position that rationalization is a species of ordinary causal explanation.The defense no doubt requires some  redeployment, but not more or less complete abandonment of the position, as urged by many recent writers”.

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