Reasons do a lot of things for us humans.
1. “I did it for this reason.” They explain actions. If someone gives you her reason for doing X, she puts her action in context, enabling you to understand why she did it. That’s an explanatory reason.
2. “This reason brought me to do it.” Reasons motivate us to do things. On one quite popular account, we want something and have an accompanying belief which outlines how we get that specific thing. Together, those things can be called a motivating reason.
3. “She’s got a reason to leave the hotel, since it is burning.” Reasons can count in favor of some action a person can do, even if the person herself does not know it yet (probably because she is taking a bath and listening to music). Yet it makes sense to talk like this: Unknown to her, she has a reason to leave the hotel. If she came to know that the hotel is burning, she’d (pretty surely) have a motivating reason, too.
However, here’s the catch. From a third person perspective, a person can have a so called “normative reason” (=something that counts in favor of some action) to leave the burning hotel, yet not have a motivating reason, for example, if she doesn’t know that the hotel is, in fact, on fire.
I get why the distinction exists: At the very least, it preserves an important way of speaking about the perceived reasons of other people regardless of the factual motivational or normative reasons that are present in the other person’s mind. The bathing woman definitely has a reason to leave the hotel (provided she generally enjoys to be alive), yet she is not motivated by it since she does not know of the fire yet. This feels like an accurate description of the whole story.
I struggle with the notion of having reasons without knowing of them, though. There may be a lot of reasons for me to do certain things, but I’m not aware of them since the content of my mind does not match up to the facts that generate these reasons. It’s just weird to talk of me actually *having* these reasons. It may even be the case that I have no way of obtaining the required knowledge. What does it mean for me to have such reasons, then? How are these obscure reasons connected to my motivating reasons?
It may well be only a fight over words. I can accept that thereis a reason forthe woman to leave the hotel immediately, but I can’t accept that she, in fact,has a reason toleave the hotel. Is it simply that the language is vague?