Talk by Prof. Stephen Finlay

October 3rd

Talk by Prof. Stephen Finlay (Australian Catholic University/University of Southern California) on Monday, October 3rd, 13.30-15.30 in room 3F, Neues Institutsgebäude, University of Vienna.

Title: Motivating Reasons as Explanations of De Dicto Subjective Goodness

Abstract: Motivating reasons are the reasons for which agents do things.  According to one popular view (Davidson, Smith), they are explanations why agents act.  A better view, I think, holds that they are rather normative reasons on the basis of which agents act (Dancy).  A puzzle for this view arises in cases where the agent's relevant belief is false.  In these cases, we often seem to identify the agent's beliefs or attitudes as their reasons for acting, although those beliefs do not seem like normative reasons.  One response has been to deny that these statements genuinely identify beliefs as reasons.  This talk proposes a new analysis: if we understand normative reasons in general as explanations of goodness, then we can make sense of these statements as about explanations of de dicto subjective goodness.

Everyone is welcome!