Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

A Cause for Concern: Reasons, Causes and Explanations

Daniel Hutto
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
Vol. 59, No. 2 (Jun., 1999), pp. 381-401
DOI: 10.2307/2653677
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2653677
Page Count: 21
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
A Cause for Concern: Reasons, Causes and Explanations
Preview not available

Abstract

This paper argues against causalism about reasons in three stages. First, the paper investigates Professor Davidson's sophisticated version of the claim that we must understand reason-explanations as a kind of causal explanation to highlight the fact that this move does no explanatory work in telling us how we determine for which reasons we act. Second, the paper considers Davidson's true motivation for regarding reasons-explanations as causal which connects with his claim that reasons are causes. He advocates anomalous monism in order to solve the mysterious connection problem. In assessing his proposed solution to this problem, the paper examines his `extension reply' to the charge that his token identity theory ultimately results in epiphenomenalism. The paper argues that only a reading of this reply makes for a stable anomalous monism but for this reason Davidson's compatiblist metaphysics is unfit for the task of solving the mysterious connection problem. Given that reductive accounts are incompatible with the special features of reasons explanations, the paper concludes that we must reverse the orthodoxy once again and eschew causalism about reasons and reason-explanations. Finally, the paper considers a possible way of recasting our understanding of causation so that the mysterious connection problem disappears.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
381
    381
  • Thumbnail: Page 
382
    382
  • Thumbnail: Page 
383
    383
  • Thumbnail: Page 
384
    384
  • Thumbnail: Page 
385
    385
  • Thumbnail: Page 
386
    386
  • Thumbnail: Page 
387
    387
  • Thumbnail: Page 
388
    388
  • Thumbnail: Page 
389
    389
  • Thumbnail: Page 
390
    390
  • Thumbnail: Page 
391
    391
  • Thumbnail: Page 
392
    392
  • Thumbnail: Page 
393
    393
  • Thumbnail: Page 
394
    394
  • Thumbnail: Page 
395
    395
  • Thumbnail: Page 
396
    396
  • Thumbnail: Page 
397
    397
  • Thumbnail: Page 
398
    398
  • Thumbnail: Page 
399
    399
  • Thumbnail: Page 
400
    400
  • Thumbnail: Page 
401
    401