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The Journal of Value Inquiry

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 167–170 | Cite as

Alan H. Goldman, Reasons from Within: Desires and Values

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. 274 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-965827-5. US$35 (paperback)
  • Stephen IngramEmail author
Book Review
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It’s not terribly controversial that human beings have reasons to act. Nor is it all that controversial that some things are valuable. Difficulties emerge, however, when we try to identify the source of reasons, and the foundation of value. Some philosophers argue that reasons and values depend for their existence on certain aspects of human psychology, like states of desire. Such philosophers are internalists about the existence of reasons, and subjectivists about value. Others say that reasons are independent of human psychology, and that value is an objective feature of reality. These philosophers are externalists about the existence of reasons, and objectivists about value. The controversies arise when we try to choose from these alternative options.

Alan H. Goldman’s Reasons from Withinprovides a comprehensive defence of internalism and subjectivism. Goldman maintains that these positions are preferable to the externalism and objectivism, which have significant metaphysical and...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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