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Internal Reasons Contemporary Readings

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ISBN-10: 0262516403

ISBN-13: 9780262516402

Edition: 2011

Authors: Kieran Setiya, Hille Paakkunainen, Christine Korsgaard, John McDowell, Bernard Williams

List price: $30.00
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Some of the most challenging questions in philosophical ethics concern the justification of action. Can you have reasons to do something that you are not, and perhaps cannot be, motivated to do? If reasons rest on desires, why respect the rights and interests of others when doing so prevents us from getting what we want? In other words, why be moral? In his 1979 essay, "Internal and External Reasons," Bernard Williams framed the dispute about reason and motivation in a way that captured the philosophical imagination. An explosion of work on reasons and action followed, with influential responses by Christine Korsgaard, John McDowell, and Michael Smith. This volume collects the most important work on the topic, including Williams's seminal essay, the responses by Korsgaard, McDowell, and Smith, and more recent contributions by central figures. Taken together, the selections offer a comprehensive survey of state-of-the-art work on internal reasons and a distinctive, focused approach to foundational questions of ethical objectivity. A substantive introduction by Kieran Setiya skillfully guides the reader through the theoretical and conceptual terrain, explaining what is at stake in the larger debate.
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Book details

List price: $30.00
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 12/2/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 416
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.188
Language: English

Kieran Setiya is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh.

John McDowell is University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh.

Sartre is the dominant figure in post-war French intellectual life. A graduate of the prestigious Ecole Normale Superieure with an agregation in philosophy, Sartre has been a major figure on the literary and philosophical scenes since the late 1930s. Widely known as an atheistic proponent of existentialism, he emphasized the priority of existence over preconceived essences and the importance of human freedom. In his first and best novel, Nausea (1938), Sartre contrasted the fluidity of human consciousness with the apparent solidity of external reality and satirized the hypocrisies and pretensions of bourgeois idealism. Sartre's theater is also highly ideological, emphasizing the importance of personal freedom and the commitment of the individual to social and political goals. His first play, The Flies (1943), was produced during the German occupation, despite its underlying message of defiance. One of his most popular plays is the one-act No Exit (1944), in which the traditional theological concept of hell is redefined in existentialist terms. In Red Gloves (Les Mains Sales) (1948), Sartre examines the pragmatic implications of the individual involved in political action through the mechanism of the Communist party and a changing historical situation. His highly readable autobiography, The Words (1964), tells of his childhood in an idealistic bourgeois Protestant family and of his subsequent rejection of his upbringing. Sartre has also made significant contributions to literary criticism in his 10-volume Situations (1947--72) and in works on Baudelaire, Genet, and Flaubert. In 1964 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and refused it, saying that he always declined official honors.At the time of his death in 2003, Bernard Williams was hailed by the Times as 'the outstanding moral philosopher of his age.' Bernard Williams taught at the Universities of Cambridge, Berkeley and Oxford. He is the author of Morality; Utlitarianism: For and Against; Descartes: The Project of Pure Enquiry and Truth and Truthfulness, and Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. In 2006 three volumes of his collected papers were published by Princeton University Press.

Introduction: Internal Reasons
Williams and His Critics
Internal and External Reasons (1979)
Skepticism about Practical Reason (1986)
Might There Be External Reasons? (1995)
Reply to McDowell (1995)
Internal Reasons (1995)
Humean Doubts about the Practical Justification of Morality (1997)
Why Is Instrumental Rationality Rational? (2005)
Putting Rationality in Its Place (1993)
Kantian Conceptions
Selections from The Possibility of Altruism (1970)
The Normativity of instrumental Reason (1997)
The Possibility of Practical Reason (1996)
Velleman's Autonomism (2001)
Beyond the Error Theory (2010)
Rationality and Virtue (1994)
Reasons and Motivation (1997)