Reasons and the First Person

  • Jaegwon Kim
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 77)


Late one night, you find yourself in the kitchen, holding the refrigerator door open and peeking inside, but you have forgotten what it is that you are looking for. Is it a piece of cheese, or some orange juice, or perhaps a bottle of beer that you wanted out of the fridge? Perhaps you wanted to check on the supply of milk and eggs. You are befuddled, and feel foolish — even a bit helpless. You feel sort of frozen, as if in a paralysis, in the middle of an action. Here is another such episode: As you are making your way down the stairway from your study, you suddenly realize that you have no idea why you are going downstairs. Are you getting the day’s mail? Are you going to pick up the evening paper? To take a break from your work and listen to some music? To feed the cat? You aren’t sure, and your steps slow down — perhaps you will come to a complete stop. Perhaps, you will continue to proceed downstairs, hoping that you will remember your reason for going down. Or you see no point in continuing your descent and decide to return to your study.1


Primary Reason Causal Explanation Folk Psychology Logical Connection Causal Account 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaegwon Kim
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyBrown UniversityUSA

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