more from Thomas Reid

Single Idea 23678

[catalogued under 20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 3. Acting on Reason / a. Practical reason]

Full Idea

A motive is equally incapable of action and of passion; because it is not a thing that exists, but a thing that is conceived. ůMotives may be compared to advice or exhortation.

Gist of Idea

A motive is merely an idea, like advice, and not a force for action


Thomas Reid (Essays on Active Powers 4: Liberty of Agents [1788], 4)

Book Reference

Reid,Thomas: 'Inquiry and Essays', ed/tr. Beanblossom /K.Lehrer [Hackett 1983], p.335

A Reaction

We say people are motivated by greed or anger or love, which seems a bit stronger than mere advice.