Williams Suggests That Practical Reasons are Dependent on the Agent’s Desires. What Does he mean by this? Do you agree?

Williams Suggests That Practical Reasons are Dependent on the Agent’s Desires. What Does he mean by this? Do you agree?

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If there's one theme in all my work it's about authenticity and self-expression… It's the idea that some things are in some real sense really you, or express what you and others aren't…. The whole thing has been about spelling out the notion of inner necessity.
Bernard Williams 2002

Human action is preceded by mental states. One of those states is ‘being motivated’. We say that we must be motivated in order to act. David Hume, Donald Davidson, and Harry Frankfurt would have it that motivations are, and only are, desires. A second state is giving ‘practical reasons’ for what we did, or what we are about to do, where their contents are beliefs that the action we are about to do, or have done, will, or did, satisfy the objects of motivation. Within this general school of thought Bernard Williams offers a naturalistic ‘practical reason’, of normative force, founded on what he would say is the psychological reality of being motivated to act and the essential human psychological characteristic of giving reason statements for that action; that is, being rational. Being rational, we discover reason statements that explain what we do. Being fully rational we ought to relate our reason statements to our motivations and do this by a sound deliberative process. As part of this, a reason statement is not just the discovery of an explanation why an action was taken in the belief that it would satisfy an object of motivation, but that it is an efficacious action founded on correct facts and beliefs to this end, defensible by logical argument.

From a different perspective, Williams’ project severs practical reason’s normative force from its imputed psychological grounding in enlightenment reason to the extent that reason has no forc...


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...1981.
———. "Internal Reasons and the Obscurity of Blame." In Making Sense of Humanity : And Other Philosophical Papers 1982-1993, xii, 251 p. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
———. "Moral Luck." In Moral Luck : Philosophical Papers, 1973-1980. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981. Originall published as Williams, Bernard Arthur Owen, Moral Luck in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, supplementary volume I (1976). 115-35.).
———. Moral Luck : Philosophical Papers, 1973-1980. Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981.
———. "Replies." In World, Mind, and Ethics : Essays on the Ethical Philosophy of Bernard Williams, edited by J. E. J. Altham and Ross Harrison, viii, 229 p. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Žižek, Slavoj. The Parallax View, Short Circuits. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2006.

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