Reason and Action (Philosophical Studies Series)

FIL2207 – Philosophy of Action
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Normative concepts have a special taste, which many consider to be proof that they cannot be reductively analyzed into entirely nonnormative components. This paper demonstrates that at least some intuitively normative concepts can be reductively analyzed. Properly interpreted, these grammatical features suggest that these deontic modals are analyzable in terms of conditional necessity with a certain temporal structure.

On the standard interpretation, his argument is perplexingly weak. In the first section I sketch this Standard argument, and detail just how terrible it is. The badness of the argument itself may not be a very strong reason not to ascribe it even to a great philosopher, but Williams himself seems to point out the very flaws that make it so terrible. The second part of the paper proposes and defends an interpretation on which he offers an Alternative argument, one which is immune to the objections that seem fatal to the Standard argument.

Hume on Motivation and Virtue. Palgrave MacMillan, Some of the opponents of desire-based views of normativity seek to undermine them by arguing that even the existence of instrumental normativity reasons to pursue the means to your ends entails the existence of a desire-independent rational norm, the instrumental norm.

Once we grant the existence of one such norm, there seems to be no principled reason for not allowing others.

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I clarify this alleged norm, identifying two criteria that any satisfactory candidate must meet: reasonable expectation and possible violation. Some interpretations meet the first criterion and others meet the second, but there are no interpretations that meet both. After surveying the interpretations of Sidgwick, Hampton, and Korsgaard, I suggest that there is no instrumental norm of reason.

The final section offers an alternative, desire-based account of instrumental normativity, on which individual normative requirements to pursue means derives from each individual desire for an end.


Moral error theory of the kind defended by J. Mackie and Richard Joyce is premised on two claims: 1 that moral judgements essentially presuppose that moral value has absolute authority, and 2 that this presupposition is false, because nothing has absolute authority. This paper accepts 2 but rejects 1. It is argued first that 1 is not the best explanation of the evidence from moral practice, and second that even if it were, the error theory would still be mistaken, because the assumption does not contaminate the meaning or truth-conditions of moral claims.

These are determined by the essential application conditions for moral concepts, which are relational rather than absolute. An analogy is drawn between moral judgements and motion judgements. Springer, Rationalists including Nagel and Korsgaard argue that motivation to the means to our desired ends cannot be explained by appeal to the desire for the end.

They claim that a satisfactory explanation of this motivational connection must appeal to a faculty of practical reason motivated in response to desire-independent norms of reason.

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Philosophers writing on the subject of human action have found it tempting to introduce their Philosophical Studies Series The Logic of Practical Reasoning. Springer. Used - Good. Ships from the UK. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. % Money Back Guarantee.

This paper builds on ideas in the work of Hume and Donald Davidson to demonstrate how the desire for the end is sufficient for explaining motivation to the means. Desiring is analyzed as having motivation towards making the end so, which is analyzed as engaging in mental activity aimed at facilitating that end. This essay explains for a general philosophical audience the central issues and strategies in the contemporary moral realism debate. It critically surveys the contribution of some recent scholarship, representing expressivist and pragmatist nondescriptivism Mark Timmons, Hilary Putnam , subjectivist and nonsubjectivist naturalism Michael Smith, Paul Bloomfield, Philippa Foot , nonnaturalism Russ Shafer-Landau, T.

Scanlon and error theory Richard Joyce. The debate is presented as taking shape under dialectical pressure from the demands of i capturing the moral appearances and ii reconciling morality with our understanding of the mind and world. Oxford Studies in Metaethics 2. Oxford University Press, I believe that normative force depends on desire. This view faces serious difficulties, however, and has yet to be vindicated. This paper sketches an Argument from Voluntary Response, attempting to establish this dependence of normativity on desire by appeal to the autonomous character of our experience of normative authority, and the voluntary character of our responses to it.

I first offer an account of desiring as mentally aiming intrinsically at some end. I then argue that behaviour is only voluntary if it results from such aiming; hence all voluntary behaviour is produced by desire. Full-blooded responses to normativity, I then argue, are voluntary actions: motivation to act arises voluntarily from perception of reasons to act. This fits the desire-based model of normativity but not its rivals. However this argument concludes merely that our responses to normativity are desire-based. I end with some observations about how I think we can bridge the gap from the nature of response to normativity to the nature of normativity itself.

Morality and Self-Interest. This paper addresses the nature and relationship of morality and self-interest, arguing that what we morally ought to do almost always conflicts with what we self-interestedly ought to do. The concept of morality is analyzed as being essentially and radically other-regarding, and the category of the supererogatory is explained as consisting in what we morally ought to do but are not socially expected to do.

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Importance for a person, in turn, is explained as dependent upon what a person is disposed to care about. I suggest that morality and self-interest are both relatively unimportant for us when compared with our other ends. Motivational reasons-internalism Bernard Williams fails to capture our first-order reasons judgements, while nonnaturalistic reasons-externalism Derek Parfit cannot explain the nature or normative authority of reasons. But contra Parfit, a reason for action is only important for an agent if it is motivationally internal to that agent.

Moral assertions express attitudes, but it is unclear how. I reject this claim on the ground that implicatures of attitude are more plausibly conversational than conventional.

Furthermore, moral expressions of attitude behave like conversational and not conventional implicatures, and there are reasons for doubting that conventions of the suggested kind could exist. Nondescriptivists including Simon Blackburn and Allan Gibbard claim that no descriptivist analysis can satisfy this requirement.

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This paper accepts 2 but rejects 1. The Philosophical Review. Ichikawa Ed. However, this requires that you submit a draft to your teacher. Within this two-year period, these philosophical studies, which are undertaken in view of theology studies, will be integrated with the introductory theology courses. They prefer an ontology of the spatially tiny or temporally tiny.

I argue first that while the practicality requirement is defeasible, it indeed demands a connection between value judgement and motivation that resembles a semantic or conceptual rather than merely contingent psychological link. I then show how a form of descriptivism, the interest-relational theory, satisfies the requirement as a pragmatic and conversational feature of value judgement — thereby also accommodating its defeasibility.

What Does Value Matter? USC Profile. The course begins with an examination of what actions are. Among other things, we look at the relationship between action and bodily movement.

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Next we discuss the connection between actions and reasons, an important question under this heading being whether the connection may be causal. We then turn to discuss what kind of mental states intentions are, and the relationship between doing something intentionally and intending to do it. Different views of motivation, reasons, and action explanation will we covered.

You will get in-depth knowledge of philosophical problems surrounding the understanding and explanation of action. At the end of the course, you will be acquainted with, and be able critically to evaluate, different views of the ontology of action, action explanation, intentions, practical rationality and irrationality, reasons and motivation.

Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb. If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures. The course is taught throughout the semester with 2 hours per week 24 hours in total.

The course has the following compulsury tuition avtivities :. When you write an essay you are entitled to receive individual tutoring.

Existentialism: Crash Course Philosophy #16

However, this requires that you submit a draft to your teacher. An exact deadline for handing in the draft will be given by the teacher during the seminar. You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations.

  1. Ralph Wedgwood | University of Southern California -
  2. Cambridge Studies in Philosophy.
  3. Cloud Cuckoo-Land (Storycuts).
  4. Reasons for Action: Internal vs. External (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).
  5. Connecting Intentions with Actions - Chiara Brozzo?
  6. Philosophy - Wikipedia.

Read more about the grading system. Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

All courses are subject to continuous evaluation. The Department's assessments of courses are available at our web-pages but generally only in Norwegian.