Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Kinds of ReasonsAn Essay in the Philosophy of Action$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Maria Alvarez

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199550005

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199550005.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 September 2021

Reasons, Kinds, Ontology

Reasons, Kinds, Ontology

(p.32) 2 Reasons, Kinds, Ontology
Kinds of Reasons

Maria Alvarez (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines various kinds of reasons. It classifies reasons into three kinds: justifying, motivating, and explanatory, on account of the three main roles that reasons can play outlined in the previous chapter. It emphasizes the importance of keeping apart the motivating and explanatory roles of reasons, because conflating them has led to a number of mistakes and confused arguments.

It further argues that, since this classification is role‐dependent, and since one and the same reason can play all of these roles in relation to a particular action, the classification of reasons into those three kinds does not correspond to any ontological difference between them: all reasons are facts (understood as true propositions—in the manner suggested by Strawson). The final sections examine and reject two routes that seem to lead to the conclusion that different reasons belong to different ontological categories.

Keywords:   reasons, kinds, ontology, facts, P. F. Strawson, mental states, beliefs, desires, practical reasoning

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .