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Doing Things for Reasons - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Doing Things for Reasons

Rüdiger Bittner


What are the reasons for which people do things? A common answer is “the pairing of a desire and a belief within the agent”. Arguing that the desire‐belief‐theory is supported only by an old philosophical tradition, and not by good reasons, this book defends the idea that a reason is a state of affairs in the world, and that what is done for a reason is a response to that state of affairs. It then follows that explanation of action by the reasons for which it was done is historical explanation. It also follows that – in contrast to what most philosophers have held –there is nothing normative a ... More

Keywords: action, belief, Rüdiger Bittner, desire, explanation of action, historical explanation, normativity, philosophy, philosophy of action, philosophy of mind, reasons, reasons for action

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2001 Print ISBN-13: 9780195143645
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0195143647.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Rüdiger Bittner, author
University of Bielefeld
Author Webpage