Simon Rippon


I make the observation that English sentences such as 添ou have reason to take the bus or to take the train� do not have the logical form that they superficially appear to have. I find in these sentences a conjunctive use of 登r,� as found in sentences like 添ou can have milk or lemon in your tea,� which gives you a permission to have milk, and a permission to have lemon, though no permission to have both. I argue that a confusion of genuine disjunctions with sentences of the above form has motivated the mistaken acceptance by some philosophers of principles like the one I call 鏑iberal Transmission.� This is the principle that if you have a reason to do something, then you have a reason to do it in each of the possible ways in which it can be done (though not more than one of them). I argue that Liberal Transmission and its close relatives are false. Wide-scope reasons are defined as reasons that have a conditional or other logical connective within the scope of the reason operator. For example, a wide-scope instrumental reason might be: reason(if you have an end, take the means). By refuting Liberal Transmission, I show that you could have wide-scope instrumental reasons like this while nevertheless lacking any narrow-scope reason to take the means, or narrow-scope reason to not have the end. This enables me to respond to two major objections to the wide-scope approach to the instrumental principle that have been developed by Joseph Raz and by Niko Kolodny.