Motivation, Reconsideration and Exclusionary Reasons


  • I presented earlier drafts at the University of Hull, the annual Conference of the Association for Social and Legal Philosophy (University of Warwick), the Cambridge Forum for Legal and Political Philosophy and the IVR Workshop on Aristotelian and Kantian Perspectives on the Normativity of Law (University of Frankfurt). I have benefited from comments received on these occasions. I am also grateful for comments received by Paul Gilbert, Tony Ward and an anonymous referee.


What do exclusionary reasons exclude? This is the main issue I address in this article. Raz appears to endorse what I label the “motivational” model of exclusionary reasons. He stresses that within the context of his theory of practical reasoning, exclusionary reasons are reasons not to be motivated by certain first-order reasons (namely, the first-order reasons which conflict with the first-order reasons that the exclusionary reasons protect). Some of his critics take him to be committed to another model of exclusionary reasons which I label the “consideration” model. According to this model exclusionary reasons are reasons not to consider or think of the conflicting first-order reasons. I argue that Raz's account of the exclusionary function of decisions suggests a third model of exclusionary reasons which I label the “reconsideration” model. In the reconsideration model, exclusionary reasons are reasons not to reconsider the balance of first-order reasons. In this article I show how the reconsideration model differs from both the motivational and the consideration model and how it can account for the exclusionary function not only of decisions but also of personal rules and authoritative directives.