Common Sense and the Theory of Human Behaviour

TitleCommon Sense and the Theory of Human Behaviour
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsHuoranszki, F.
Journal titleThe Philosophical Quarterly

I offer an analysis of Reid's notion of the will. Naturalism in the philosophy of action is defined as the attempt to eliminate the capacity of will and to reduce volition to some class of appetite or desire. Reid's arguments show, however, that volition plays a particular role in deliberation which cannot be reduced to some form of motivation present at the time of action. Deliberation is understood as an action over which the agent has control. Will is a higher-order mental capacity enabling us to control our own attitudes, decisions and actions. Reid investigates several distinct forms of this control. I conclude with some remarks about the relation between Reid's arguments about the function of the will and his moral rationalism.


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