La causalidad de las acciones morales: Richard Taylor y Thomas Reid

Translated title of the contribution: The causality of moral actions: Richard Taylor and Thomas Reid

María Elton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The theory according to which human actions are events caused by other events depending on laws of nature, inspired on the thought of David Hume, has predominated in contemporary philosophy of action. Some have opposed this approach, proposing that the ultimate cause of human actions is the agent. Prominent among them has been Richard Taylor, who was inspired by Thomas Reid, a Scottish Enlightenment philosopher contemporary of Hume, whose notion of moral agency is of special historical importance, despite being implicit in ancient and medieval philosophy, because it sharply distinguishes the notion of agency from the notion of event as the cause of moral actions. Such a contraposition opens up another discussion: in what does the agent's activity consist in? Both Reid, in the Enlightenment, and Taylor, in contemporary philosophy, answer this question from experience, without relying on old metaphysical schemes. However, Reid discovers, by experiential induction, that the will is an efficient metaphysical cause, so he can complete Taylor's approach, who avoids speaking of causes of actions because of its contemporary connotation, saying that the beginning of actions would be only in reasons and purposes.

Translated title of the contributionThe causality of moral actions: Richard Taylor and Thomas Reid
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)61-75
Number of pages15
Issue number54
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

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  • agent
  • event
  • reason
  • volition
  • efficiency


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