Actions, Reasons and Becauses
The purpose of this project is to delve into this controversy and become familiar with the major arguments involved and examine their weaknesses and strengths. I will be primarily concerned with the positions of four men. Donald Davidson was selected as a classical supporter of the thesis that reasons are causes. Davidson's position is found in his article, "Actions, Reasons and Causes". Another supporter of the thesis is David Pears, whose views are brilliantly presented in his article "Are Reasons for Actions Causes? R. S. Peters and Charles Taylor both favor the distinction between reasons and causes. R.S. Peters presents his arguments in The Concept of Motivation. Charles Taylor refreshingly presents a synoptic account of behavior which is incompatible with the casual account in The Explanation of Behavior.