How do reason explanations explain? One view is that they require the deployment of a tacit psychological theory; another is that even if no tacit theory is involved, we must still conceive of reasons as mental states. By focusing on the subjective nature of agency, and by casting explanations as responses to why questions that assuage agents puzzlement, reason explanations can be profitably understood as part of our traffic in first-order content amongst perspectival subjects. An outline is offered of such an account of reason explanation, one that fully acknowledges the distinctive first-order first-person normative perspective of agency.
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal of Philosophical Explorations, 7 (2), 2004, © Taylor