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Motivation and Motivating Reason

Rønnow-Rasmussen, Toni LU (2013) In Johanssonian Investigations: Essays in Honour of Ingvar Johansson on His Seventieth Birthday p.464-485
Abstract
Philosophers have stressed the need to distinguish between explanatory (motivating) reasons and justifying (good) reasons. The distinction is often illustrated with an example of someone doing something that is intended to appear at the outset as incomprehensible. The next step is then to add some further details about the agent — typically some information about his or her beliefs and desires — providing some sort of explanation of the agent’s peculiar behaviour, making it suddenly intelligible. The added piece of information is intended to reveal what motivated the agent to act in such an odd way. The story continues, however, and in the next step we are introduced to further information. This time the information relates, rather, to our... (More)
Philosophers have stressed the need to distinguish between explanatory (motivating) reasons and justifying (good) reasons. The distinction is often illustrated with an example of someone doing something that is intended to appear at the outset as incomprehensible. The next step is then to add some further details about the agent — typically some information about his or her beliefs and desires — providing some sort of explanation of the agent’s peculiar behaviour, making it suddenly intelligible. The added piece of information is intended to reveal what motivated the agent to act in such an odd way. The story continues, however, and in the next step we are introduced to further information. This time the information relates, rather, to our own epistemic position, or understanding of the situation, and only indirectly to the agent’s beliefs. Thus, we are assumed to hold some true beliefs that the agent either lacks or actually believes to be false. As a result we can be expected to form an opinion about what ought to have been — or, minimally, what ought not to have been — the agent’s reason. Cases like this afford an intuitive grasp of the distinction between explanatory and normative reasons.However, more recently the picture such cases present has been supplemented, or perhaps even corrected. There is a further feature of the case that needs to be teased out — one that gives a finer-grained understanding of what is going on than that provided by talk of the agent’s explanatory reasons. I share this view, and so what I will be doing in this paper is mainly to underline the need to dig a bit deeper. Motivation, as I shall argue, comes in different forms. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Explanatory reason, motivating reason, intentional content, expressive acts, habits
in
Johanssonian Investigations: Essays in Honour of Ingvar Johansson on His Seventieth Birthday
editor
Svennerlind, Christer; Almäng, Jan and Ingthorsson, Rögnvaldur
pages
464 - 485
publisher
Ontos Verlag
external identifiers
  • Scopus:84979153675
ISBN
978-3-86838-190-0
project
On Our Good Reasons
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
be248523-1d63-455b-a91f-b0a710a09d1c (old id 3561171)
date added to LUP
2013-04-11 11:19:24
date last changed
2016-10-13 04:49:48
@misc{be248523-1d63-455b-a91f-b0a710a09d1c,
  abstract     = {Philosophers have stressed the need to distinguish between explanatory (motivating) reasons and justifying (good) reasons. The distinction is often illustrated with an example of someone doing something that is intended to appear at the outset as incomprehensible. The next step is then to add some further details about the agent — typically some information about his or her beliefs and desires — providing some sort of explanation of the agent’s peculiar behaviour, making it suddenly intelligible. The added piece of information is intended to reveal what motivated the agent to act in such an odd way. The story continues, however, and in the next step we are introduced to further information. This time the information relates, rather, to our own epistemic position, or understanding of the situation, and only indirectly to the agent’s beliefs. Thus, we are assumed to hold some true beliefs that the agent either lacks or actually believes to be false. As a result we can be expected to form an opinion about what ought to have been — or, minimally, what ought not to have been — the agent’s reason. Cases like this afford an intuitive grasp of the distinction between explanatory and normative reasons.However, more recently the picture such cases present has been supplemented, or perhaps even corrected. There is a further feature of the case that needs to be teased out — one that gives a finer-grained understanding of what is going on than that provided by talk of the agent’s explanatory reasons. I share this view, and so what I will be doing in this paper is mainly to underline the need to dig a bit deeper. Motivation, as I shall argue, comes in different forms.},
  author       = {Rønnow-Rasmussen, Toni},
  editor       = {Svennerlind, Christer and Almäng, Jan and Ingthorsson, Rögnvaldur},
  isbn         = {978-3-86838-190-0},
  keyword      = {Explanatory reason,motivating reason,intentional content,expressive acts,habits},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {464--485},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x9506550)},
  series       = {Johanssonian Investigations: Essays in Honour of Ingvar Johansson on His Seventieth Birthday},
  title        = {Motivation and Motivating Reason},
  year         = {2013},
}