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Value and ContextThe Nature of Moral and Political Knowledge$
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Alan Thomas

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198250173

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0198250177.001.0001

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Internal Reasons and Contractualist Impartiality

Internal Reasons and Contractualist Impartiality

Chapter:
(p.67) 4 Internal Reasons and Contractualist Impartiality
Source:
Value and Context
Author(s):

Alan Thomas (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198250177.003.0005

This chapter examines a proposal concerning the nature of practical reasons: that all such reasons are internal reasons. It is the first obstacle that was placed in the way of the Wittgensteinian cognitivists’ position by Bernard Williams. Williams’s arguments are presented in a different light from the way in which they are usually understood. The mention of Humeanism in his initial presentation of his ideas led to Williams being viewed as a representative of someone committed to the Humean theory of motivation, or to a Humean view of the self or of the psychological. Williams’s position is seen as a set of relatively neutral constraints on the very idea of a practical reason.

Keywords:   practical reasons, internal reasons, cognitivism, Bernard Williams, Humeanism

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