Book Chapter

Reasons for Action and Instrumental Rationality



Millar A (2002) Reasons for Action and Instrumental Rationality. In: Bermúdez J & Millar A (eds.) Reason and Nature: Essays in the Theory of Rationality. Mind Association Occasional Series. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, pp. 113-132.

The article is a discussion of intentional action drawing on work of Elizabeth Anscombe and making use of the distinction between normative and motivating reasons for action. It is argued that while all normative reasons for an action must favour or recommend that action not all such reasons are properly regarded as justificatory. Some might merely confer a point on the action. An account of instrumental reason is developed that draws upon work of John Broome.

action; Elizabeth Anscombe; intention; instrumental reasons; John Broome; justification of action; motivation; normativity; reasons for action.

Title of seriesMind Association Occasional Series
Publication date30/11/2002
PublisherClarendon Press
Publisher URL…thumbby_crawl=10
Place of publicationOxford, UK

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Professor Alan Millar
Professor Alan Millar

Emeritus Professor, Philosophy