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date: 21 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter we offer a series of reflections on the ideology of reasons. Among the normative reasons for an agent X to phi, it is common to distinguish between those reasons that the agent possesses and those which she does not. After some background (5.1), we argue (5.2) that possession of a reason requires knowledge. In 5.3, we argue, first, that the normative reason construction is factive, and second, that possession ascriptions can be factored into a normative reason construction and a possession claim. In 5.4, we compare two prominent views concerning the nature of normative reasons: those of Kearns and Star and of John Broome. While both views have significant merit, we argue that they also face some non-trivial challenges, and discuss a range of considerations that can help to adjudicate between these two conceptions.

Keywords: reason, normative reason, possessed reasons, reasons as evidence, reasons as explanations

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