Internal Reasons and the Obscurity of Blame
Williams (Bernard)
Source: Williams - Making Sense of Humanity (and Other Philosophical Papers)
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

    The article states again and defends the position advanced in an earlier piece, that (roughly) there are only internal reasons for action: that "A has a reason to Phi" implies "A could reach the conclusion to Phi by a sound deliberative route from the motivations s/he presently has." It is explained why this is a normative conception of a reason, and what counts as a sound deliberative route. The motivation for rejecting an external view (in particular, that moral and prudential considerations apply a priori to the question of what someone has a reason to do) is that it fails to make sense of the connections between normative and explanatory reasons. The account is extended to blame. Relative to an assumption that the A ought to have Phi'ed of "focused" blame is similar to the A ought to Phi of advice, in implying a statement about A's reasons, the operation of such blame is explained in terms of the proleptic invocation of a reason: a reason which the agent will have in virtue of a disposition to want the respect of other people.


Write-up2 (as at 02/08/2017 19:12:00): Williams - Internal Reasons and the Obscurity of Blame

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