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What's Special about Humeanism

Noûs 33 (1):30-45 (1999)

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  1. The Verdictive Organization of Desire.Derek Baker - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (5):589-612.
    Deliberation often begins with the question ‘What do I want to do?’ rather than the question of what one ought to do. This paper takes that question at face value, as a question about which of one’s desires is strongest, which sometimes guides action. The paper aims to explain which properties of a desire make that desire strong, in the sense of ‘strength’ relevant to this deliberative question. Both motivational force and phenomenological intensity seem relevant to a desire’s strength; however, (...)
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  • Skepticism About Ought Simpliciter.Derek Baker - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13.
    There are many different oughts. There is a moral ought, a prudential ought, an epistemic ought, the legal ought, the ought of etiquette, and so on. These oughts can prescribe incompatible actions. What I morally ought to do may be different from what I self-interestedly ought to do. Philosophers have claimed that these conflicts are resolved by an authoritative ought, or by facts about what one ought to do simpliciter or all-things-considered. However, the only coherent notion of an ought simpliciter (...)
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  • Subjectivism, Instrumentalism, and Prudentialism About Reasons: On the Normativity of Instrumental Transmission.Arash Abizadeh - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (2):387-402.
    According to a subjectivist theory, normative reasons are grounded in facts about our desires. According to an instrumentalist theory, reasons are grounded also in facts about the relevant means to desired objects. These are distinct theories. The widespread tendency to conflate the normativity of subjective and instrumentalist precepts obscures two facts. First, instrumentalist precepts incorporate a subjective element with an objective one. Second, combining these elements into a single theory of normative reasons requires explaining how and why they are to (...)
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  • Desires as Additional Reasons? The Case of Tie-Breaking.Attila Tanyi - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (2):209-227.
    According to the Desire-Based Reasons Model reasons for action are provided by desires. Many, however, are critical about the Model holding an alternative view of practical reason, which is often called valued-based. In this paper I consider one particular attempt to refute the Model, which advocates of the valued-based view often appeal to: the idea of reason-based desires. The argument is built up from two premises. The first claims that desires are states that we have reason to have. The second (...)
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  • Silencing Desires?Attila Tanyi - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (3):887-903.
    In an overlooked section of his influential book What We Owe to Each Other Thomas Scanlon advances an argument against the desire-model of practical reasoning. In Scanlon’s view the model gives a distorted picture of the structure of our practical thinking. His idea is that there is an alternative to the “weighing behavior” of reasons, a particular way in which reasons can relate to each other. This phenomenon, which the paper calls “silencing”, is not something that the desire-model can accommodate, (...)
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  • Sobel on Pleasure, Reason, and Desire.Attila Tanyi - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (1):101-115.
    The paper begins with a well-known objection to the idea that reasons for action are provided by desires. The objection holds that since desires are based on reasons (first premise), which they transmit but to which they cannot add (second premise), they cannot themselves provide reasons for action. In the paper I investigate an attack that has recently been launched against the first premise of the argument by David Sobel. Sobel invokes a counterexample: hedonic desires, i.e. the likings and dislikings (...)
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  • A Pluralistic Account of Epistemic Rationality.Matthew Kopec - 2018 - Synthese 195 (8):3571-3596.
    In this essay, I aim to motivate and defend a pluralistic view of epistemic rationality. At the core of the view is the notion that epistemic rationality is essentially a species of practical rationality put in the service of various epistemic goals. I begin by sketching some closely related views that have appeared in the literature. I then present my preferred version of the view and sketch some of its benefits. Thomas Kelly has raised challenging objections to a part of (...)
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  • A New Moral Sentimentalism.Eric Vogelstein - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):346-368.
    This paper argues for a novel sentimentalist realist metaethical theory, according to which moral wrongness is analyzed in terms of the sentiments one has most reason to have. As opposed to standard sentimentalist views, the theory does not employ sentiments that are had in response to morally wrong action, but rather sentiments that antecedently dispose people to refrain from immoral behavior, specifically the sentiments of compassion and respect.
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  • The Inertness of Reason and Hume's Legacy (On-Line Publication 2015, Issue Backdated to 2012).Elizabeth S. Radcliffe - 2012 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 42 (S1):117-133.
    Hume argues against the seventeenth-century rationalists that reason is impotent to motivate action and to originate morality. Hume's arguments have standardly been considered the foundation for the Humean theory of motivation in contemporary philosophy. The Humean theory alleges that beliefs require independent desires to motivate action. Recently, however, new commentaries allege that Hume's argument concerning the inertness of reason has no bearing on whether beliefs can motivate. These commentaries maintain that for Hume, beliefs about future pleasurable and painful objects on (...)
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  • Why Be an Agent?Evan Tiffany - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2):223 - 233.
    Constitutivism is the view that it is possible to derive contentful, normatively binding demands of practical reason and morality from the constitutive features of agency. Whereas much of the debate has focused on the constitutivist's ability to derive content, David Enoch has challenged her ability to generate normativity. Even if one can derive content from the constitutive aims of agency, one could simply demur: ?Bah! Agency, shmagency?. The ?Why be moral?? question would be replaced by the ?Why be an agent?? (...)
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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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  • Promotion as Contrastive Increase in Expected Fit.Nathaniel Sharadin & Finnur Dellsén - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1263-1290.
    What is required for an action to promote the satisfaction of a desire? We reject extant answers and propose an alternative. Our account differs from competing answers in two ways: first, it is contrastive, in that actions promote the satisfaction of desires only as contrasted with other possible actions. Second, it employs a notion of expected fit between desire and world, defined as the weighted sum of the fit between the desire and the world in all possible outcomes, where each (...)
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  • What Kind of Theory is the Humean Theory of Motivation?Caroline T. Arruda - 2017 - Ratio 30 (3):322-342.
    I consider an underappreciated problem for proponents of the Humean theory of motivation. Namely, it is unclear whether is it to be understood as a largely psychological or largely metaphysical theory. I show that the psychological interpretation of HTM will need to be modified in order to be a tenable view and, as it will turn out, the modifications required render it virtually philosophically empty. I then argue that the largely metaphysical interpretation is the only a plausible interpretation of HTM's (...)
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  • Morality, Reasons, and Sentiments.Eric Vogelstein - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (3):421-432.
    Morality is commonly thought to be normative in a robust and important way. This is commonly cashed out in terms of normative reasons. It is also commonly thought that morality is necessarily and universally normative, i.e., that moral reasons are reasons for any possible moral agent. Taking these commonplaces for granted, I argue for a novel view of moral normativity. I challenge the standard view that moral reasons are reasons to act. I suggest that moral reasons are reasons for having (...)
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  • Meta‐Normative Realism, Evolution, and Our Reasons to Survive.Jeff Behrends - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (4):486-502.
    In this article, I articulate and respond to an epistemological challenge to meta-normative realism. The challenge has it that, if realism about the normative is correct, and if evolutionary forces have significantly influenced our normative judgments, then it would be a remarkable coincidence if the content of the normative facts and our normative judgments were aligned. I criticize David Enoch's recent attempt to meet this challenge, but provide an alternative response that is structurally similar. I argue that if realism is (...)
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  • Self-Validation and Internalism in Velleman’s Constitutivism.Michael Bukoski - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2667-2686.
    Metaethical constitutivists explain reasons or normativity in terms of what is constitutive of agency. In Velleman’s paradigmatic constitutivist theory, that is the aim of self-understanding. The best-known objection to constitutivism is Enoch’s shmagency objection: constitutivism cannot explain normativity because a constitutive aim of agency lacks normative significance unless one has reason to be an agent rather than a “shmagent”. In response, Velleman argues that the constitutive aim is self-validating. I argue that this claim is false. If the constitutive aim of (...)
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