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Reasons and rational motivational access

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Abstract

Practical Internalism holds that an agent's reasons for acting are entirely determined by his rational desires. This account is thought to be preferable to externalism, on the grounds that internalism alone can guarantee that agents have ‘rational motivational access’ (RMA) to their reasons. Rachel Cohon has recently argued that (i) internalism fails to ensure this, and (ii) an externalist account, akin to relativism, can guarantee RMA. I suggest that both of these claims are mistaken. I argue that relativism is best understood as an internalist theory, and claim that one version of internalism can therefore guarantee RMA.

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