Alan H. Goldman F'07

Alan H. Goldman
Kenan Professor of Humanities Emeritus
Philosophy
College of William & Mary

ACLS Fellowship Program 2007
Professor
Philosophy
College of William & Mary
Reasons from Within: A Subjectivist Account of Practical Reasons

This study defends a modified Humean internalist view of practical reasoning and practical reasons. A Humean account holds that the reasons we have for acting are determined and limited by the motivations we have. Practical reasoning aims at coherence among motivations, intentions, and actions. Practical reasons are states of affairs constituted as reasons by informed and coherent motivational sets, including deep concerns, dispositions to behavior, evaluative judgments, and certain other mental states. This economical account of practical reason, which shows its unity with theoretical reason, is defended against major objections by proponents of external reasons and objective values.