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I–Derek Parfit

I–Derek Parfit REASONS AND MOTIVATION Derek Parfit and John Broome s rational beings, we can ask: What do we have most reason to want, and do? What is it most rational for us to want, and do? These questions differ in only one way. While reasons are provided by the facts, the rationality of our desires and acts depends instead on what we believe, or—given the evidence, ought rationally to believe. When we believe the relevant facts, these questions have the same answers. In other cases, it can be rational to want, or do, what we have no reason to want, or do. Thus, if I believe falsely that my hotel is on fire, it may be rational for me to jump into the canal; but I may have no reason to jump. Since beliefs aim at truth, and to be rational is to respond to reasons, it is the first question that is fundamental. This question is about normative reasons. When we have such a reason, and we act for that reason, it becomes our motivating reason. But we can have either kind of reason without having the other. Thus, if I jump into the canal, my motivating reason was http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume Oxford University Press

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Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© Published by Oxford University Press.
ISSN
0309-7013
eISSN
1467-8349
DOI
10.1111/1467-8349.00021
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

REASONS AND MOTIVATION Derek Parfit and John Broome s rational beings, we can ask: What do we have most reason to want, and do? What is it most rational for us to want, and do? These questions differ in only one way. While reasons are provided by the facts, the rationality of our desires and acts depends instead on what we believe, or—given the evidence, ought rationally to believe. When we believe the relevant facts, these questions have the same answers. In other cases, it can be rational to want, or do, what we have no reason to want, or do. Thus, if I believe falsely that my hotel is on fire, it may be rational for me to jump into the canal; but I may have no reason to jump. Since beliefs aim at truth, and to be rational is to respond to reasons, it is the first question that is fundamental. This question is about normative reasons. When we have such a reason, and we act for that reason, it becomes our motivating reason. But we can have either kind of reason without having the other. Thus, if I jump into the canal, my motivating reason was

Journal

Aristotelian Society Supplementary VolumeOxford University Press

Published: Jul 1, 1997

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