Teleological reasons

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


A teleological reason to π is a reason to π in virtue of the fact that f-ing would either itself promote a certain end or is appropriately related to something else that would promote that end. And teleological reasons divide into direct and the indirect kinds, depending on whether the first or second of these two disjuncts applies. Thus, supposing that our end is to maximize utility, the fact that my killing one to save two would maximize utility is a direct teleological reason for me to do so, whereas the fact that my killing one to save two is prohibited by the code of rules whose universal acceptance would maximize utility is an indirect teleological reason for me to refrain from doing so. This chapter discusses various types of reasons, such as epistemic reasons (that is, reasons to believe), and whether all, some, or none of them are teleological. The chapter pays particularly close attention to the issue of whether all practical reasons (that is, reasons for action) are teleological.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780199657889
StatePublished - Jul 10 2018


  • Epistemic reasons
  • Practical reasons
  • Promotion
  • Teleology
  • Value

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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