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Volume 52 • Number 2

April 2015



A Causal Theory of Acting for Reasons

by Nomy Arpaly and Timothy Schroeder

Amanda works in a library, and a patron asks for her help in learning about duty-to- rescue laws in China. She throws herself into the task, spending hours on retrieving documents from governmental and non-governmental sources, getting electronic translations, looking for literature on Scandinavian duty-to-rescue laws that mention Chinese laws for comparison, and so on. Why? She likes to gain this sort of general knowledge of the world; perhaps the reason she works so hard is that she is learning fascinating facts in doing so. She is also a proud librarian; perhaps the reason she works so hard is that a patron needs her assistance. She is a library employee; perhaps her reason for working so hard is that this sort of effort is noted by her employer and gives her career a boost, or perhaps it is just that doing this sort of work is the condition of her continued employment. Perhaps the reason is that the patron is charming.

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ISSN: 2152-1123