Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory

Praktische Vernunft und Verstehen

1999 (21) Issue 1



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Table of Contents

Title: Sind Wünsche Handlungsgründe?
Author: Ulrike Heuer
Page: 1-24

Abstract: Desires are often taken to be the basis for all practical reasons. I introduce one of the most powerful arguments to sustain this view: the argument from motivation (sec. 1). In section 2, however, I develop an equally powerful objection to desire-based approaches showing that desires are not suited to accommodate the justificatory role of reasons. The objection suggests that at least one of the premises of the argument from motivation must presuppose that only desires can explain actions. This move is, however, fatal for desire-based views of practical reason.

Title: Normative Handlungsgründe
Author: Peter Schaber
Page: 25-40

Abstract: t is a widely held view in moral philosophy that reasons for action are based on desires. This view should be rejected. Reasons for action are never provided by desires. Desires provide us with motives, whereas reasons for action are based on valuable facts which obtain independently of our desires. The recognition of these reasons does not necessarily motivate us. Motives depend on desires, for instance the motive for moral actions on the desire to do the morally right thing.

Title: Praktische Rationalität - monistisch, nicht dualistisch
Author: Marco Iorio
Page: 41-56

Abstract: After a short survey of some discussions in modern action theory and in the theory of explanation an alternative account of reasons for action is presented and explained. According to this alternative, not mental states of the agent but non-mental facts constitute reasons for action. Some ramifications of this view are discussed with special regard to the question of how to overcome the established dichotomy of subjective and objective rationality.

Title: Zugänglichkeit praktischer Gründe
Author: Kirsten Petzold
Page: 57-74

Abstract: The traditional debate about having reasons for actions has focussed on the motivational and justificatory dimensions. I argue that discussion of these issues has neglected a further and important condition of reasons for action. A person can have a reason only if the considerations that provide the reason are accessible to her. Access means that the agent must be able to see that her reason speaks in favor of her (-ing. I argue for my thesis by pointing out, first, that theoretical reasons must be accessible in order to justify a person's beliefs and second, that the accessibility of theoretical reasons excludes the inaccessibility of practical reasons.

Title: Wie versteht man eine Person? Zum Streit über die Form der Alltagspsychologie
Author: Oliver Robert Scholz
Page: 75-96

Abstract: When we attempt to understand a person we make use of a body of practices called 'folk psychology'. After clarifying the status and the content of folk psychology, the paper focuses on the current debate about its form. A version of the 'theory theory' is sketched that tries to do justice to the holism of the mental and to the constraining role of presumptions of coherence for the ascription of intentional states. Against this background, it is argued that radical simulationism, the main competitor of the 'theory theory', is untenable. Understanding a person cannot be solely a matter of mental simulation.

Title: Verstehen und Kohärenz. Ein Beitrag zur Methodologie der Sozialwissenschaften
Author: Thomas Bartelborth
Page: 97-116

Abstract: In this article I argue that the intentional explanation of actions is a central task of the social sciences. However, the attribution of intentional states is highly underdetermined by observational data. Such attributions are forms of inference to the best explanation, and they have to cohere with our background knowledge of the conditions under which the agent acts. In addition to this 'outer coherence' we have to ask for an 'inner coherence' within the intentional profile of the agent to gain a meaningful understanding. Both forms of coherence can help to reduce underdetermination.

Title: Die Vielfalt des Interpretierens
Author: Axel Bühler
Page: 117-137

Abstract: Many discussions in the philosophy of the humanities and of the social sciences take it for granted that the term ,interpretation, unambiguously refers to only one well-defined activity. In this paper, I want to discredit this assumption. First, I distinguish seventeen different kinds of activity regarding linguistic utterances which are commonly considered activities of interpretation. Then I specify diverse methodological requirements connected with each of the kinds of interpretation distinguished. Finally, I argue that attempts to give an unitary account of interpretation - such as ,assigning meaning to something, - fail to do justice to the multifariousness of the activities commonly called 'interpretation'.

Title: Normen und das ökonomische Handlungsmodell. Eine weitere Replik auf Gebhard Kirchgässner (ANALYSE & KRITIK 20, 221-244)
Author: Jens Beckert
Page: 138-141

Abstract: This note on my exchange with G. Kirchgässner points to a possible misunderstanding and one serious difference of opinion. On the empirical side I tried to make visible social values and norms which cannot be reduced to economic preferences. On the normative side I tried to criticise the rational-choice-approach for being either obviously wrong or empirically empty.