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On What MattersVolume Three$
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Derek Parfit

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198778608

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198778608.001.0001

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Expressivist Reasons

Expressivist Reasons

Chapter:
(p.241) 48 Expressivist Reasons
Source:
On What Matters
Author(s):

Derek Parfit

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198778608.003.0013

This chapter considers what it means when we say that someone has a reason to act in some way. It first introduces the internal sense of the phrase, ‘a reason’. This sense roughly means that an act might fulfil one of a person's present desires, or that after informed deliberation this person would be motivated to act in this way. There is also the external, purely normative sense. Though we are free to claim that other people have decisive reasons to act in certain ways, even when these acts will not fulfil any of these people's present desires, such claims will not help us to achieve our aim of getting these people to act in these ways.

Keywords:   expressivist reasons, reason, internal sense, external sense, present desires

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