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Paper   IPM / Philosophy / 17767
School of Analytic Philosophy
  Title:   Knowing One's Own Motivating Reasons
  Author(s):  Seyyed Mohsen Eslami
  Status:   Published
  Journal: Logos & Episteme
  No.:  2
  Vol.:  XV
  Year:  2024
  Pages:   121-135
  Supported by:  IPM
Reasons are not the same. Normative reasons need to be distinguished from non-normative reasons. Then, due to some considerations, we have to draw a distinction between explanatory reasons and motivating reasons. In this paper, I focus on a rather implicit assumption in drawing the explanatory-motivating distinction. Motivating reasons are mostly characterized as those reasons that the agent takes to be normative. This may imply that the agent always knows the reasons their motivating reasons. This I call the infallibility or transparency assumption. This suggests that there is some sort of report condition on motivating reasons. In contrast, one may ask whether it is possible for the agent to be mistaken about what their motivating reasons are. I argue that we can distinguish motivating reasons and satisfy the motivations for the explanatory-motivating distinction without committing to this infallibility assumption. I briefly sketch a character-based approach to motivating reasons as an alternative. Next, I argue that, in addition to being important on its own, this account has implications for other debates. I illustrate this by mentioning cases such as recalcitrant actions as well as critically discussing one kind of counter-example presented against the guise of the good thesis.

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