Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A short question about reasons

Actually, two questions:

A. Is the following inference valid, according to your view on reasons?
B. Is the following inference valid, according to Scanlon's view on reasons?


Does:

1. X= Y

eg. talking to Maffettone = talking to the biggest expert on J. Rawls in Italy)

+

2. I have a reason to X

e.g I have a reason to talk to the biggest expert on J. Rawls in Italy. (Suppose I am writing a thesis on J.Rawls

entail

3. I have a reason to Y

(I have a reason to talk to Maffettone)

even if I do not know, and I cannot possibly know that X = Y,

e.g. because I do not know whether Maffettone is the biggest expert on J.Rawls in Italy, and (let us suppose, even if it sounds odd) there is no way to know this.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You should look at Mark Schroeder's Having Reasons (it's on hiw webpage). He would say that if you don't know about P, then you don't HAVE a reason to P, although there may be a reason FOR YOU to P. Having reasons entails something like awareness of them, but there being reasons for you doesn't. For myself I'm not sure there can be reasons which are not HAD at all. Francesco

Enigman said...

That's a really weird thing isn't it? I read the question and I thought "of course I have a reason to Y" and I read the comment and I thought "ah, so there is a reason for my to Y, but I don't have it"! But on reflection I go back to my first thought. My reason to Y is precisely my reason to X, I just don't know that it is, because I don't know that X = Y. A reason that I didn't have would be something like fancying Maffettone. (On further exposure to argument I may change my mind.)