Levels of reasons why and answers to why questions

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Insa Lawler, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: According to Skow, correct answers to why questions cite only causes or grounds, but not nonaccidental regularities. Accounts that cite nonaccidental regularities typically confuse second-level reasons with first-level reasons. Only causes and grounds are first-level reasons why. Nonaccidental regularities are second-level reasons why. I first show that Skow’s arguments for the accusation of confusion depend on the independent thesis that only citations of first-level reasons why are (parts of) answers to why questions. Then I argue that this thesis is false. Consequently, the claim that correct answers to why questions cite only causes or grounds is refuted as well.

Additional Information

Philosophy of Science 86(1), 168-177.
Language: English
Date: 2019
why questions, reasons why, causes and grounds, nonaccidental regularities

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