Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 3–22 | Cite as

Practical Reasons and the Redundancy of Motives

  • Richard Norman


Jonathan Dancy, in his 1994 Aristotelian Society Presidential Address, set out to show 'why there is really no such thing as the theory of motivation'. In this paper I want to agree that there is no such thing, and to offer reasons of a different kind for that conclusion. I shall suggest that the so-called ‘theory of motivation’ misconstrues the question which it purports to answer, and that when we properly analyse the question and distinguish it clearly from other questions with which it should not be confused, we do not need a theory of motivation at all.

Dancy externalism Garrard internalism McNaughton moral realism motives Parfit reasons Tanney Williams 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Norman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, CanterburyUniversity of KentKentUK

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