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Why Did You Really Do It? Human Reasoning and Reasons for Action

In: Organon F, vol. 28, no. 4
José Ángel Gascón


Year, pages: 2021, 845 - 866
Language: eng
Cognitive psychology; explanation; justification; motivation; rationalization; reasons for action.
Article type: Research Article
About article:
During the last decades several studies in cognitive psychology have shown that many of our actions do not depend on the reasons that we adduce afterwards, when we have to account for them. Our decisions seem to be often influenced by normatively or explanatorily irrelevant features of the environment of which we are not aware, and the reasons we offer for those decisions are a posteriori rationalisations. But exactly what reasons has the psychological research uncovered? In philosophy, a distinction has been commonly made between normative and motivating reasons: normative reasons make an action right, whereas motivating reasons explain our behaviour. Recently, Maria Alvarez has argued that, apart from normative (or justifying) reasons, we should further distinguish between motivating and explanatory reasons. We have, then, three kinds of reasons, and it is not clear which of them have been revealed as the real reasons for our actions by the psychological research. The answer we give to this question will have important implications both for the validity of our classifications of reasons and for our understanding of human action.
How to cite:
ISO 690:
Gascón, J. 2021. Why Did You Really Do It? Human Reasoning and Reasons for Action. In Organon F, vol. 28, no.4, pp. 845-866. 1335-0668. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2021.28405

Gascón, J. (2021). Why Did You Really Do It? Human Reasoning and Reasons for Action. Organon F, 28(4), 845-866. 1335-0668. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31577/orgf.2021.28405
About edition:
Publisher: Filozofický ústav SAV, Filosofický ústav AVČR
Published: 29. 11. 2021
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0)