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Being Motivated by the Facts (Under Review)

Dancy (2000) argues against what he call Psychologism about motivating reasons. The most powerful argument that can be extracted from Dancy’s text invokes the claim that when one acts on the basis of a good reason, the reason for which one acts is identical to the good reason in question. I call that the Identity Thesis. It also relies on the claim that the reason for which the agent acts is identical to the explanans of the rationalising explanation of the agent’s action. I call that the Explanatory Thesis. The Psychologist could respond to the argument either by denying the Identity Thesis or by denying the Explanatory Thesis. In this paper I set up the debate between Psychologism and Anti-Psychologism, attempt to show that my way of setting up the debate is superior to that of Olson and Svensson’s (2005), and extract the argument from Dancy’s text. After that I go on to defend the Identity Thesis against attack from the Psychologist and I attempt to show that the rejection of the Explanatory Thesis is parasitic on an anterior rejection of the Identity Thesis. Thus, the argument escapes unscathed from both responses.