Kinds of Reasons: An Essay in the Philosophy of Action

ISBN : 9780199680580

Maria Alvarez
224 Pages
140 x 216 mm
Pub date
May 2013
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Understanding human beings and their distinctive rational and volitional capacities is one of the central tasks of philosophy. The task requires a clear account of such things as reasons, desires, emotions and motives, and of how they combine to produce and explain human behaviour. In Kinds of Reasons, Maria Alvarez offers a fresh and incisive treatment of these issues, focusing in particular on reasons as they feature in contexts of agency. Her account builds on some important recent work in the area; but she takes her main inspiration from the tradition that receives its seminal contemporary expression in the writings of G.E.M. Anscombe, a tradition that runs counter to the broadly Humean orthodoxy that has dominated the theory of action for the past forty years. Alvarez's conclusions are therefore likely to be controversial; and her bold and painstaking arguments will be found provocative by participants on every side of the debates with which she engages. Clear and directly written, Kinds of Reasons aims to stake out a distinctive position within one of the most hotly contested areas of contemporary philosophy.


1. Reasons
2. Reasons, Kinds, Ontology
3. Motivation and Desires
4. Desires and Motivating Reasons
5. Beliefs and Motivating Reasons
6. The Explanation of Action

About the author: 

Maria Alvarez is Reader in Philosophy at King's College London. She has previously lectured at the University of Southampton, University of Oxford, and University of Reading.

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