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Reason, motivation and behaviour : the possibility of the rationality of unconsciously motivated behaviour

Reason, motivation and behaviour : the possibility of the rationality of unconsciously motivated behaviour
Reason, motivation and behaviour : the possibility of the rationality of unconsciously motivated behaviour

The thesis analyses the nature of various types of explanation of human behaviour and action. Various conceptions of motivation and the production of behaviour are examined. The nature of a person's interests is explored and related to the problem of what it is to be a rational agent and what it is to act rationally. Conceptions of cause, reason and intention and the various relations between them are explored. The problem of identifying reasons as different entities from causes in addressed and contrasting explanations in terms of both concepts are analysed. It is argued that while all explanations done for a motive are reasons-type explanations, not all reasons-type explanations are motive explanations. The problem of doing something out of a motive is explored and doing an action from conscious and unconscious motives is analysed in relation to various conceptions of wanting to perform any action. It is argued that the vague concept of wanting to do an action is crucially ambiguous and that in some circumstances provides a genuine explanation of action whereas in others it does not at all. In the latter case the citation of a different and more specific motive is required as are beliefs concerning the relations between the motive and the end state which the action is intended to bring about. Finally, the whole schema under which all types of motive explanation can be said to be genuinely informative is set out in an attempt to draw together the issues discussed earlier.

University of Southampton
Burwood, Leslie Robert Victor
Burwood, Leslie Robert Victor

Burwood, Leslie Robert Victor (1981) Reason, motivation and behaviour : the possibility of the rationality of unconsciously motivated behaviour. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

The thesis analyses the nature of various types of explanation of human behaviour and action. Various conceptions of motivation and the production of behaviour are examined. The nature of a person's interests is explored and related to the problem of what it is to be a rational agent and what it is to act rationally. Conceptions of cause, reason and intention and the various relations between them are explored. The problem of identifying reasons as different entities from causes in addressed and contrasting explanations in terms of both concepts are analysed. It is argued that while all explanations done for a motive are reasons-type explanations, not all reasons-type explanations are motive explanations. The problem of doing something out of a motive is explored and doing an action from conscious and unconscious motives is analysed in relation to various conceptions of wanting to perform any action. It is argued that the vague concept of wanting to do an action is crucially ambiguous and that in some circumstances provides a genuine explanation of action whereas in others it does not at all. In the latter case the citation of a different and more specific motive is required as are beliefs concerning the relations between the motive and the end state which the action is intended to bring about. Finally, the whole schema under which all types of motive explanation can be said to be genuinely informative is set out in an attempt to draw together the issues discussed earlier.

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More information

Published date: 1981

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 459832
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/459832
PURE UUID: 9d4985dd-1223-4e54-ae77-c86167151621

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Date deposited: 04 Jul 2022 17:19
Last modified: 04 Jul 2022 17:19

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Contributors

Author: Leslie Robert Victor Burwood

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