Acting without reasons

Josep L. Prades (University of Girona)

Acting without reasons

En: Disputatio, Vol. II, No. 23, November 2007


“In this paper, I want to challenge some common assumptions in contemporary theories of practical rationality and intentional action. If I am right, the fact that our intentions can be rationalised is widely misunderstood. Normally, it is taken for granted that the role of rationalisations is to show the reasons that the agent had to make up her mind. I will argue against this. I do not object to the idea that acting intentionally is, at least normally, acting for reasons, but I will propose a teleological reading of the expression ‘for reasons.’ On this reading, it is quite possible to act for reasons without having reasons to act. In a similar way, paradigmatic cases of cogent practical reasoning do not require the transference of justification from the premises to the practical conclusion.”

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