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Volume 53 • Number 1

January 2016



The Davidsonian Challenge to the Non-Causalist

by Guido Löhrer and Scott Sehon


Davidson's 1963 essay "Actions, Reasons, and Causes" convinced most philosophers that reason explanations are a species of causal explanation. By way of argument, Davidson challenged the non-causalist to make sense of cases where the agent has more than one reason that would justify her behavior but only acts on one of these reasons. We claim that a teleological account of action explanation can answer Davidson's challenge, but we argue further that if the Davidsonian challenge is a problem for the teleologist, then it is equally a problem for the causalist, and thus cannot serve as an argument for causalism.

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ISSN: 2152-1123