George Terzis makes several objections to claims and arguments I advanced in Impartial Reason. I cannot take them all up, but I would like to respond to some, which I shall group into three: (a) whether reasons depend on norms applying to all rational agents; (b) how the unity of agency relates to such norms; and (c) the self-support condition. Since the objections concerning (a) cut most deeply against the central thesis of Impartial Reason, I shall begin with them. Before I do that, however, I should make some preliminary remarks.
Impartial Reason offers an internalist theory of reasons, but one that is, I believe, more sensitive to the normative character of reasons than internalist theories usually are.1 A theory of reasons is internalist if it holds that something's being a reason depends somehow on its capacity to affect motivation. Unlike internalist theories that identify reasons with de facto motives, however, IR insists on the normative character of reasons as tending to justify conduct as rational. It does this by holding that a reason to act is something which motivates when appropriately (or rationally) considered. The normative or justificatory weight of reasons, then, is held to derive from a normative ideal of rational consideration. Reasons inherit as justificatory weight the motivational force they would come to have in an ideally rational process of practical reflection.