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Irrational desires

Philosophical Studies 62 (1):23 - 44 (1991)

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  1. Norms for Pure Desire.Victor M. Verdejo - forthcoming - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science.
    According to a widespread, broadly Humean consensus, desires and other conative attitudes seem as such to be free from any normative constraints of rationality. However, rational subjects are also required to be attitude-coherent in ways that prima facie hold sway for desire. I here examine the plausibility of this idea by proposing several principlesfor coherent desire. These principles parallel principles for coherent belief and can be used to make a case for a kind of purely conative normativity. I consider several (...)
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  • Affective Experience, Desire, and Reasons for Action.Declan Smithies & Jeremy Weiss - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (1):27-54.
    What is the role of affective experience in explaining how our desires provide us with reasons for action? When we desire that p, we are thereby disposed to feel attracted to the prospect that p, or to feel averse to the prospect that not-p. In this paper, we argue that affective experiences – including feelings of attraction and aversion – provide us with reasons for action in virtue of their phenomenal character. Moreover, we argue that desires provide us with reasons (...)
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  • Motivation and Practical Reasons.John J. Tilley - 1997 - Erkenntnis 47 (1):105-127.
    In discussions of practical reason we often encounter the view that a fact is a reason for an agent to act only if the fact is capable of moving the agent to act. This view figures centrally in many philosophical controversies, and while taken for granted by some, it is vigorously disputed by others. In this essay I show that if the disputed position is correctly interpreted, it is well armored against stock objections and implied by a premise that is (...)
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  • Rational Preference: Decision Theory as a Theory of Practical Rationality.James Dreier - 1996 - Theory and Decision 40 (3):249-276.
    In general, the technical apparatus of decision theory is well developed. It has loads of theorems, and they can be proved from axioms. Many of the theorems are interesting, and useful both from a philosophical and a practical perspective. But decision theory does not have a well agreed upon interpretation. Its technical terms, in particular, ‘utility’ and ‘preference’ do not have a single clear and uncontroversial meaning. How to interpret these terms depends, of course, on what purposes in pursuit of (...)
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  • A Defence of a Rationalist Conception of Practical Reason.Gal Yehezkel - 2017 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 13 (1):39-57.
    In this paper I attempt to refute the instrumental conception of practical reason, and thus defend a rationalist conception of practical reason. I argue that, far from merely playing an instrumental role, reason can be used by an agent to evaluate, that is, to approve or reject, final ends, which might be suggested by desires, and further to determine final ends independently of any desires, whether actual or potential, that the agent might have. My argument relies on an analysis of (...)
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  • Moral Rationalism and the Normative Status of Desiderative Coherence.Patricia Marino - 2010 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (2):227-252.
    This paper concerns the normative status of coherence of desires, in the context of moral rationalism. I argue that 'desiderative coherence' is not tied to rationality, but is rather of pragmatic, instrumental, and sometimes moral value. This means that desire-based views cannot rely on coherence to support non-agent-relative accounts of moral reasons. For example, on Michael Smith's neo-rationalist view, you have 'normative reason' to do whatever your maximally coherent and fully informed self would want you to do, whether you want (...)
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  • How a Modern-Day Hume Can Reject a Desire Categorically: A Perplexity and a Theoretically Modest Proposal.Regan Lance Reitsma & King’S. College - 2014 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 9 (2):48-66.
    We often treat our basic, unmotivated desires as reason-giving: you’re thirsty and take yourself to have a reason to walk to the drinking fountain; you care intrinsically about your young daughter and take yourself to have a reason to feed and clothe her. We think these desires generate normative practical reasons. But are there basic desires that don’t? It might seem so, for we sometimes find ourselves impelled to do some very strange, and some very awful, things. For example, would (...)
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  • Justificatory Reasons for Action.Georg Spielthenner - 2012 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 8 (2):56-72.
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