Marco Iorio  
Reasons Without Reason  
(Philosophische Impulse, vol. 10)
2013, 218 pp., paperback
€ 29,80 [D]
ISBN 978-3-939381-53-2

In their actions, their intentional behavior, human beings reveal themselves as the animal rationale, not only gradually different from other animals, but different in principle. This idea fell out of favor with biologists and other natural scientists long ago. But many philosophers still remain attached to it. In the conception of this book, Marco Iorio proceeds from the starting point that this idea is false and explores the possibility of a rigorous naturalized theory of action. This book is intended for well-meaning naturalists and is at the same time a provocation aimed at the established theory of action. Actions, according to the established theory, are events that are characterized by a special kind of explanation. Iorio rebuts this doctrine by showing that actions can be explained by as great a variety of explanatory strategies as other events can. Actions, according to the established view, are events that are necessarily reducible to the reasons of the agent. Iorio shows however that there are also actions performed without reasons. Actions, again according to the established theory, constitute a clearly defined set of behaviors. Iorio begs to differ here as well. For human beings, actions are species-specific behaviors – and nothing more.

Marco Iorio has been teaching philosophy at several German universities, among them Bielefeld, Erlangen, Potsdam, and Lüne­burg. He is currently fellow at the Centre for Advanced Study in Bioethics at the University of Münster.