Explaining our choices : Reid on motives, character and effortExplaining our choices : Reid on motives, character and effort
Faculty of Arts. Philosophy
Journal of Scottish philosophy. - Edinburgh
5(2007):2, p. 187-212
Libertarians, like Thomas Reid, hold that motives do not causally necessitate our choices. The problem that arises is to explain how the agent decides to act according to one motive and not the other. In light of some objections brought up by Leibniz and Edwards but also by contemporary compatibilists such as Haji and Goetz, I examine Thomas Reid's possible answer to this problem. I argue that to explain our choices Reid would appeal not only to motives and character traits but also to the amount of effort needed to choose what is best. I also address Reid's criticism of the implicit presupposition of the Principle of Suffi cient Reason. My aim is therefore to explore, clarify and defend Reid's account of agency in choicemaking.