Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Theses Online London School of Economics web site

An explanatory account of practical reasons

Olgun, Deren Cem Halil (2017) An explanatory account of practical reasons. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

[img] Text - Submitted Version
Download (2MB)
Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.1ud2n7nxbbia

Abstract

If I take my umbrella, having seen that it’s raining outside, we might say that my reason for taking my umbrella was that it was raining. However, if I’d believed that it was raining when it wasn’t, we might say that my reason for taking my umbrella was that I believed that it was raining. In the first case, my reason for acting seems to be a feature of the world, whilst in the second it seems to be a feature of my psychology. According to most theories of reasons, we are mistaken about what my reason for acting was in one of these cases. However, I argue, these theories all entail several awkward claims. I argue that there is a theory of reasons that can reconcile these two accounts of what my reason for acting was without entailing such awkward claims. I argue that what the fact that it is raining and the fact that I believe that it is raining have in common is that, in their respective cases, they each explain why it was rational for me to take my umbrella and why I took it. More generally, I argue that there is at least a sense in which all practical reasons explain why it is, in some respect, rational for the agent to do the actions for which they are reasons. The major challenge for this account is the claim that only features of an agent’s psychology can explain why they act or why it is rational for them to act. I provide a formal construal of this challenge and argue that the fact that it is raining can explain why I take my umbrella and why it was rational for me to do so, by explaining the fact that I believed that it was raining.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2017 Deren Cem Halil Olgun
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Sets: Departments > Management
Supervisor: List, Christian
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/3713

Actions (login required)

Record administration - authorised staff only Record administration - authorised staff only

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics