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By Rowland Stout

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Apparently this is going on all the time without one’s being aware of it. One’s tongue is probing around in one’s mouth seeking out bits of food left hanging around there. You usually only realize your tongue is doing this when it keeps coming up against a new filling or a newly chipped tooth and cannot leave it alone. According to O’Shaughnessy, when I become aware of my tongue, “I become aware, not merely of a movement of my tongue, but of a movement that I have executed. But more, I become aware of an activity of moving that is being performed by me” (1980: 60).

Williams’s first premise is quite trivial. It is that when you are motivated to act there must be some motivational state you are in. e. ) must be part of what motivates you to act. In other words, it amounts to the idea that being motivated to act depends on having the relevant emotion. The emotion would commonly not be very powerful or noticeable; it might be something like a mild preference. But it must be an independent input to your motivational system from which the behaviour flows. There are two main arguments that Hume brings to bear (Treatise, Book 2, part 3, section 3) to defend this claim.

At this stage I should flag up something that I shall not consider properly until Chapter 5. When I am talking about an action being subject to justification I am not just talking about some possible justification; I am talking about the justification that applies to that action. This is the justification that the action has a place in and that the agent is committed to in acting this way. Eventually I shall argue that this requires the agent to be causally sensitive to this justification. But for the time being I shall try to remain neutral as to whether the idea of being subject to justification is a causal idea, partly because Anscombe and many other like-minded philosophers of that period thought that it was not.

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