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The Humean theory of motivation

Mind 96 (381):36-61 (1987)

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  1. Misinformation, Subjectivism, and the Rational Criticizability of Desire.Jay Jian - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Orthodox Humeans about normative reasons for action believe that there are no rational principles governing the substantive content of desire. But they also believe that desires with misinformed content should be rejected and cannot be the proper subjective sources of normative reasons for action. These two ideas, I argue, in fact stand in tension with each other: The Humean rejection of misinformed desire actually has to invoke a feasibility principle for desire, a semi-substantive rational principle that is already built into (...)
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  • Naive Action Theory.Michael Thompson - 2008 - In Life and Action. Harvard University Press.
    The question "Why?" that is deployed in these exchanges evidently bears the "special sense" Elizabeth Anscombe has linked to the concepts of intention and of a reason for action; it is the sort of question "Why?" that asks for what Donald Davidson later called a "rationalization".2 The special character of what is given, in each response, as formulating a reason ── a description, namely, of the agent as actually doing something, and, moreover, as..
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  • A Solution to the Many Attitudes Problem.Bob Beddor - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2789-2813.
    According to noncognitivism, normative beliefs are just desire-like attitudes. While noncognitivists have devoted great effort to explaining the nature of normative belief, they have said little about all of the other attitudes we take towards normative matters. Many of us desire to do the right thing. We sometimes wonder whether our conduct is morally permissible; we hope that it is, and occasionally fear that it is not. This gives rise to what Schroeder calls the 'Many Attitudes Problem': the problem of (...)
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  • What May I Hope? Why It Can Be Rational to Rely on One’s Hope.Döring Sabine - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 6 (3):117--129.
    In hoping, what is important to us seems possible, which makes our life appear meaningful and motivates us to do everything within our reach to bring about the things that we hope for. I argue that it can be rational to rely on one’s hope: hope can deceive us, but it can also represent things correctly to us. I start with Philip Pettit’s view that hope is a cognitive resolve. I reject this view and suggest instead that hope is an (...)
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  • Trust in the Guise of Belief.Anthony Robert Booth - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (2):156-172.
    What kind of mental state is trust? It seems to have features that can lead one to think that it is a doxastic state but also features that can lead one to think that it is a non-doxastic state. This has even lead some philosophers to think that trust is a unique mental state that has both mind-to-world and world-to-mind direction of fit, or to give up on the idea that there is a univocal analysis of trust to be had. (...)
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  • Transformative Choice, Practical Reasons and Trust.Rob Compaijen - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (2):275-292.
    In this article I reflect on the question of whether we can have reason to make transformative choices. In attempting to answer it, I do three things. First, I bring forward an internalist account of practical reasons which entails the idea that agents should deliberate to the best of their ability. Second, I discuss L.A. Paul’s views on transformative choice, arguing that, although they present a real problem, the problem is not as profound as she believes it is. Third, I (...)
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  • The Space of Motivations.Donnchadh O’Conaill - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (3):440-455.
    The distinction between the space of reasons and the realm of law captures two familiar ways of making events intelligible, by reference to reasons or to natural laws, respectively. I describe a third way of making events intelligible, by explaining them in terms of an agent’s being motivated to do certain things. Explanations of this sort do not involve appealing to reasons for which the agent acts, nor to natural laws under which the event falls. To explain an event in (...)
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  • Explaining Action.Kieran Setiya - 2003 - Philosophical Review 112 (3):339-393.
    Argues that, in acting for a reason, one takes that reason to explain one's action, not to justify it: reasons for acting need not be seen "under the guise of the good". The argument turns on the need to explain the place of "practical knowledge" - knowing what one is doing - in intentional action. A revised and expanded version of this material appears in Part One of "Reasons without Rationalism" (Princeton, 2007).
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  • Doing the Best One Can.Ittay Nissan-Rozen - 2011 - Dissertation, London School of Economics
    The thesis explores the question of how should a rational moral agent reason and make choices when he finds himself accepting inconsistent moral judgments. It is argued that it is both conceptually and psychologically justified to describe such an agent as suffering from uncertainty. Such uncertainty, however, is not uncertainty regarding the truth of some descriptive claim, but rather uncertainty regarding the truth of a normative claim. Specifically it is uncertainty regarding the truth of a moral judgement. In the literature (...)
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  • Legal Reasoning as Fact Finding? A Contribution to the Analysis of Criminal Adjudication.Federico Picinali - 2014 - Jurisprudence 5 (2):299-327.
    This paper attempts to shed light on the dynamics of criminal adjudication. It starts by exploring some significant—and often ignored—similarities and dissimilarities between the practices and disciplines of, respectively, legal reasoning and fact finding. It then discusses the problem of defining the nature of these processes—legal reasoning, in particular—in terms of their being instances of practical or theoretical reasoning. Thus understood, the problem is shown to be distinct from two traditional questions of jurisprudence, namely whether law consists of facts and, (...)
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  • “Yes, the Theory is Abstemious, But...”: A Critique of Yehezkel.Regan Lance Reitsma - 2017 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 13 (1):59-79.
    This article is a critique of Gal Yehezkel’s attempt to refute subjectivism about normative practical reasons, a school of thought inspired by Hume. Yehezkel believes reason, far from being, as Hume puts it, “the slave of the passions,” has the normative authority to be a critic of basic desires and argues that subjectivism lacks the theoretical resources both to acknowledge this alleged truth and to analyze the distinction between wanting an outcome and intending to pursue it. I contend his refutation (...)
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  • Appetitive Besires and the Fuss About Fit.Steven Swartzer - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):975-988.
    Some motivational cognitivists believe that there are besires—cognitive mental states (typically moral beliefs) that share the key feature of desire (typically desire’s ‘direction of fit’) in virtue of which they are capable of being directly motivational. Besires have been criticized by Humeans and cognitivists alike as philosophically extravagant, incoherent, ad hoc, and incompatible with folk psychology. I provide a response to these standard objections to besires—one motivated independently of common anti-Humean intuitions about the motivational efficacy of moral judgments. I proceed (...)
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  • Making Sense of Animal Disenhancement.Adam Henschke - 2012 - NanoEthics 6 (1):55-64.
    In this paper I look at moral debates about animal disenhancement. In particular, I propose that given the particular social institutions in which such disenhancement will operate, we ought to reject animal disenhancement. I do this by introducing the issue of animal disenhancement and presenting arguments in support of it, and showing that while these arguments are strong, they are unconvincing when we look at the full picture. Viewing animal disenhancement in a context such as high intensity food production, we (...)
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  • Belief‐Desire Explanation.Nikolaj Nottelmann - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (12):912-921.
    Theses claiming a constitutive or necessary role for belief‐desire pairs in the rationalizing, motivation or explanation of action, are generally known as Humean. The main purpose of this short paper is clearly to present the basic versions of Humeanism and lay bare their commitments and interrelations in preparation for a short general introduction to the debate over belief‐desire explanation of action. After this, some influential arguments for and against a Humean account of action explanation are briefly discussed.
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  • Desire, Expectation, and Invariance.Richard Bradley & H. Orii Stefansson - 2016 - Mind 125 (499):691-725.
    The Desire-as-Belief thesis (DAB) states that any rational person desires a proposition exactly to the degree that she believes or expects the proposition to be good. Many people take David Lewis to have shown the thesis to be inconsistent with Bayesian decision theory. However, as we show, Lewis's argument was based on an Invariance condition that itself is inconsistent with the (standard formulation of the) version of Bayesian decision theory that he assumed in his arguments against DAB. The aim of (...)
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  • The World According to Suffering.Antti Kauppinen - forthcoming - In Michael S. Brady, David Bain & Jennifer Corns (eds.), The Philosophy of Suffering. London: Routledge.
    On the face of it, suffering from the loss of a loved one and suffering from intense pain are very different things. What makes them both experiences of suffering? I argue it’s neither their unpleasantness nor the fact that we desire not to have such experiences. Rather, what we suffer from negatively transforms the way our situation as a whole appears to us. To cash this out, I introduce the notion of negative affective construal, which involves practically perceiving our situation (...)
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  • Expressivism and the Practicality of Moral Convictions.Neil Sinclair - 2007 - Journal of Value Inquiry 41 (2-4):201-220.
    Many expressivists have employed a claim about the practicality of morality in support of their view that moral convictions are not purely descriptive mental states. In this paper I argue that all extant arguments of this form fail. I distinguish several versions of such arguments and argue that in each case either the sense of practicality the argument employs is too weak, in which case there is no reason to think that descriptive states cannot be practical or the sense of (...)
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  • Propositional Clothing and Belief.Neil Sinclair - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228):342-362.
    Moral discourse is propositionally clothed, that is, it exhibits those features – such as the ability of its sentences to intelligibly embed in conditionals and other unasserted contexts – that have been taken by some philosophers to be constitutive of discourses that express propositions. If there is nothing more to a mental state being a belief than it being characteristically expressed by sentences that are propositionally clothed then the version of expressivism which accepts that moral discourse is propositionally clothed (‘quasi-realism’) (...)
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  • Why Must We Treat Humanity with Respect? Evaluating the Regress Argument.Michael Ridge - 2005 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 1 (1):57-73.
    -- Immanuel Kant (Kant 1990, p. 46/429) The idea that our most basic duty is to treat each other with respect is one of the Enlightenment’s greatest legacies and Kant is often thought to be one of its most powerful defenders. If Kant’s project were successful then the lofty notion that humanity is always worthy of respect would be vindicated by pure practical reason. Further, this way of defending the ideal is supposed to reflect our autonomy, insofar as it is (...)
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  • Cognitivisme, Beurk! Non­-Cognitivisme, Hurrah!François Jaquet - 2009 - Swiss Philosophical Preprints.
    La philosophie morale est traditionnellement divisée en trois sous-disciplines : l’éthique appliquée, qui, comme son nom l’indique, s’intéresse aux positions à adopter sur des sujets pratiques ; l’éthique normative, où s’opposent un ensemble de théories sur ce qui devrait être, sur ce qui est bon/mauvais, etc. ; et la méta-éthique, qui étudie des questions non morales, mais relatives à la morale 1 . Cette dernière définition peut paraître floue, mais c’est un flou que rend nécessaire l’hétérogénéité propre à la discipline. (...)
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  • Acting Without Reasons.Josep L. Prades - 2007 - Disputatio 2 (23):1 - 18.
    In this paper, I want to challenge some common assumptions in contemporary theories of practical rationality and intentional action. If I am right, the fact that our intentions can be rationalised is widely misunderstood. Normally, it is taken for granted that the role of rationalisations is to show the reasons that the agent had to make up her mind. I will argue against this. I do not object to the idea that acting intentionally is, at least normally, acting for reasons, (...)
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  • The Case for a Mixed Verdict on Ethics and Epistemology.Folke Tersman - 2010 - Philosophical Topics 38 (2):181-204.
    An increasingly popular strategy among critics of ethical anti-realism is to stress that the traditional arguments for that position work just as well in the case of other areas. For example, on the basis of that claim, it has recently been claimed that ethical expressivists are committed to being expressivists also about epistemic judgments (including the judgment that it is rational to believe in ethical expressivism). This in turn is supposed to seriously undermine their position. The purpose of my paper (...)
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  • How Humeans Can Make Normative Beliefs Motivating.William Ratoff - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    Normative realism faces a problem concerning the practicality of normative judgment, the presumptive view that normative judgments are motivational states. Normative judgments, for the normative realist, must be beliefs. This is problematic because it is difficult to see how any belief could have the necessary connection to motivation required to account for the practicality of normative judgment. After all, the Humean theory of motivation has it that motivated action is only brought about by a belief and a desire working in (...)
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  • A Hegelian Critique of Desire-Based Reasons.Kate Padgett Walsh - 2013 - Idealistic Studies 43 (3):171-184.
    This paper approaches Humean accounts of desire from a perspective relatively unexplored in contemporary moral theory, namely Hegel’s ethical thought. I contend that Hegel’s treatment of desire is, ultimately, somewhat more Humean than Hegel himself recognized. But Hegel also goes further than contemporary Humeans in recognizing the sociality of the normative domain, and this difference has important implications for the Humean thesis of desire-based reasons. I develop a Hegelian critique of DBR and conclude by outlining a distinctively Hegelian approach to (...)
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  • The Benefits of Rule Following: A New Account of the Evolution of Desires.Armin Schulz - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):595-603.
    A key component of much current research in behavioral ecology, cognitive science, and economics is a model of the mind at least partly based on beliefs and desires. However, despite this prevalence, there are still many open questions concerning both the structure and the applicability of this model. This is especially so when it comes to its ‘desire’ part: in particular, it is not yet entirely clear when and why we should expect organisms to be desire-based—understood so as to imply (...)
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  • The Natural History of Desire.David Spurrett - 2015 - South African Journal of Philosophy 34 (3):304-313.
    Sterelny (2003) develops an idealised natural history of folk-psychological kinds. He argues that belief-like states are natural elaborations of simpler control systems, called detection systems, which map directly from environmental cue to response. Belief-like states exhibit robust tracking (sensitivity to multiple environmental states), and response breadth (occasioning a wider range of behaviours). The development of robust tracking and response-breadth depend partly on properties of the informational environment. In a transparent environment the functional relevance of states of the world is directly (...)
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  • Thinking, Acting, Considering.Daniel Muñoz - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (2):255-270.
    According to a familiar (alleged) requirement on practical reason, one must believe a proposition if one is to take it for granted in reasoning about what to do. This paper explores a related requirement, not on thinking but on acting—that one must accept a goal if one is to count as acting for its sake. This is the acceptance requirement. Although it is endorsed by writers as diverse as Christine Korsgaard, Donald Davidson, and Talbot Brewer, I argue that it is (...)
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  • The Construction of a Sustainable Development in Times of Climate Change.Eric Brandstedt - 2013 - Dissertation, Lund University
    This dissertation is a contribution to the debate about ‘climate justice’, i.e. a call for a just and feasible distribution of responsibility for addressing climate change. The main argument is a proposal for a cautious, practicable, and necessary step in the right direction: given the set of theoretical and practical obstacles to climate justice, we must begin by making contemporary development practices sustainable. In times of climate change, this is done by recognising and responding to the fact that emissions of (...)
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  • Practical Language: Its Meaning and Use.Nate Charlow - 2011 - Dissertation, University of Michigan
    I demonstrate that a "speech act" theory of meaning for imperatives is—contra a dominant position in philosophy and linguistics—theoretically desirable. A speech act-theoretic account of the meaning of an imperative !φ is characterized, broadly, by the following claims. -/- LINGUISTIC MEANING AS USE !φ’s meaning is a matter of the speech act an utterance of it conventionally functions to express—what a speaker conventionally uses it to do (its conventional discourse function, CDF). -/- IMPERATIVE USE AS PRACTICAL !φ's CDF is to (...)
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  • Teorias Híbridas Em Metaética E Folk Psychology.Eduardo Vicentini de Medeiros - 2018 - Dissertatio 47 (S6):27-48.
    O artigo argumenta por um paralelismo entre o surgimento de teorias híbridas na Metaética e novas propostas de categorização para estados mentais que tomam como base conceitos da folk psychology. São discutidos três propostas de teorias híbridas e três propostas de categorizações. Esse paralelo não é acidental, antes indica uma direção profícua para a solução do confronto entre cognitivismo e não cognitivismo, desde que os novas categorizações propostas estejam integradas em teorias da psicologia ou neurociências que apresentem suporte de evidência (...)
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  • The Possibility of Practical Reason.J. David Velleman - 1996 - Ethics 106 (4):694-726.
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  • Rationality and the Structure of the Self Volume II: A Kantian Conception.Adrian M. S. Piper - 2013 - APRA Foundation.
    Adrian Piper argues that the Humean conception can be made to work only if it is placed in the context of a wider and genuinely universal conception of the self, whose origins are to be found in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. This conception comprises the basic canons of classical logic, which provide both a model of motivation and a model of rationality. These supply necessary conditions both for the coherence and integrity of the self and also for unified agency. (...)
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  • Judgment Internalism: An Argument From Self-Knowledge.Jussi Suikkanen - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (3):489-503.
    Judgment internalism about evaluative judgments is the view that there is a necessary internal connection between evaluative judgments and motivation understood as desires. The debate about judgment internalism has reached a standoff some time ago. In this paper, I outline a new argument for judgment internalism. This argument does not rely on intuitions about cases, but rather it has the form of an inference to the best explanation. I argue that the best philosophical explanations of how we know what we (...)
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  • The Rational Significance of Desire.Avery Archer - 2013 - Dissertation, Columbia University
    My dissertation addresses the question "do desires provide reasons?" I present two independent lines of argument in support of the conclusion that they do not. The first line of argument emerges from the way I circumscribe the concept of a desire. Complications aside, I conceive of a desire as a member of a family of attitudes that have imperative content, understood as content that displays doability-conditions rather than truth-conditions. Moreover, I hold that an attitude may provide reasons only if it (...)
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  • Reconceiving Direction of Fit.Avery Archer - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (3):171-180.
    I argue that the concept of direction of fit is best seen as picking out a certain inferential property of a psychological attitude. The property in question is one that believing shares with assuming and fantasizing and fails to share with desire. Unfortunately, the standard analysis of DOF obscures this fact because it conflates two very different properties of an attitude: that in virtue of which it displays a certain DOF, and that in virtue of which it displays certain revision (...)
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  • The Nature of Desire.Federico Lauria & Julien Deonna (eds.) - 2017 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Desires matter. What are desires? Many believe that desire is a motivational state: desiring is being disposed to act. This conception aligns with the functionalist approach to desire and the standard account of desire's role in explaining action. According to a second influential approach, however, desire is first and foremost an evaluation: desiring is representing something as good. After all, we seem to desire things under the guise of the good. Which understanding of desire is more accurate? Is the guise (...)
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  • Davidson’s Meta-Normative Naturalism.Robert Myers - 2019 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 7 (2).
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  • Taking Something as a Reason for Action.Markus E. Schlosser - 2012 - Philosophical Papers 41 (2):267-304.
    This paper proposes and defends an account of what it is to act for reasons. In the first part, I will discuss the desire-belief and the deliberative model of acting for reasons. I will argue that we can avoid the weaknesses and retain the strengths of both views, if we pursue an alternative according to which acting for reasons involves taking something as a reason. In the main part, I will develop an account of what it is to take something (...)
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  • Against Representations with Two Directions of Fit.Arto Laitinen - 2014 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (1):179-199.
    The idea that there are representations with a double direction of fit has acquired a pride of place in contemporary debates on the ontology of institutions. This paper will argue against the very idea of anything at all having both directions of fit. There is a simple problem which has thus far gone unnoticed. The suggestion that there are representations with both directions of fit amounts to a suggestion that, in cases of discrepancy between a representation and the world, both (...)
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  • Affect, Rationalization, and Motivation.Jonathan Cohen & Matthew Fulkerson - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (1):103-118.
    Recently, a number of writers have presented an argument to the effect that leading causal theories make available accounts of affect’s motivational role, but at the cost of failing to understand affect’s rationalizing role. Moreover, these writers have gone on to argue that these considerations support the adoption of an alternative (“evaluationist”) conception of pleasure and pain that, in their view, successfully explains both the motivational and rationalizing roles of affective experience. We believe that this argument from rationalization is ineffective (...)
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  • Setiya on Intention, Rationality and Reasons.Michael E. Bratman - 2009 - Analysis 69 (3):510-521.
    ‘The idea that there are standards of practical reason apart from or independent of good character,’ Kieran Setiya trenchantly argues, ‘is a philosophical mirage’. 1 Setiya's argument in this fine book is a striking blend of philosophy of action and normative philosophy. A central claim is that the intention is a special kind of belief. I want both to challenge that claim and to reflect on a subtle argument in its favour that is in the background.1.Practical thinking, as understood by (...)
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  • Existentialism, Liberty and the Ethical Foundations of Law.Jonathan George Crowe - 2006 - Dissertation,
    The thesis examines the theoretical relationship between law and ethics. Its methodology is informed by both the existentialist tradition of ethical phenomenology and the natural law tradition in legal theory. The main claim of the thesis is that a phenomenological analysis of ethical experience, as suggested by the writings of existentialist authors such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Emmanuel Levinas, provides important support for the natural law tradition. This claim is developed and defended through detailed engagement with the natural law theory (...)
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  • VIII-An Argument Against Motivational Internalism.Elinor Mason - 2008 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1part2):135-156.
    In this paper I argue that I argue that motivational internalism should not be driving metaethics. I first show that many arguments for motivational internalism beg the question by resting on an illicit appeal to internalist assumptions about the nature of reasons. Then I make a distinction between weak internalism and the weakest form of internalism. Weak internalism allows that agents fail to act according to their normative judgments when they are practically irrational. I show that when we clarify the (...)
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  • Reasons with Rationalism After All.Michael Smith - 2009 - Analysis 69 (3):521-530.
    Kieran Setiya begins Reasons Without Rationalism by outlining and arguing for a schema in terms of which he thinks we best understand the nature of normative reasons for action. This is: " Reasons: The fact that p is a reason for A to ϕ just in case A has a collection of psychological states, C, such that the disposition to be moved to ϕ by C-and-the-belief-that-p is a good disposition of practical thought, and C contains no false beliefs. " As (...)
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  • Practical Unreason.Philip Pettit & Michael Smith - 1993 - Mind 102 (405):53-79.
    Some contemporary theories treat phenomena like weakness of will, compulsion and wantonness as practical failures but not as failures of rationality: say, as failures of autonomy or whatever. Other current theories-the majority see the phenomena as failures of rationality but not as distinctively practical failures. They depict them as always involving a theoretical deficiency: a sort of ignorance, error, inattention or illogic. They represent them as failures which are on a par with breakdowns of theoretical reason; the failures may not (...)
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  • Rationality and the Structure of the Self, Volume I: The Humean Conception.Adrian M. S. Piper - 2008 - APRA Foundation Berlin.
    The Humean conception of the self consists in the belief-desire model of motivation and the utility-maximizing model of rationality. This conception has dominated Western thought in philosophy and the social sciences ever since Hobbes’ initial formulation in Leviathan and Hume’s elaboration in the Treatise of Human Nature. Bentham, Freud, Ramsey, Skinner, Allais, von Neumann and Morgenstern and others have added further refinements that have brought it to a high degree of formal sophistication. Late twentieth century moral philosophers such as Rawls, (...)
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  • On the Normativity of Intentions.Bruno Verbeek - 2014 - Topoi 33 (1):87-101.
    Suppose you intend now to φ at some future time t. However, when t has come you do not φ. Something has gone wrong. This failing is not just a causal but also a normative failing. This raises the question how to characterize this failing. I discuss three alternative views. On the first view, the fact that you do not execute your intention to φ is blameworthy only if the balance of reasons pointed to φ-ing. The fact that you intended (...)
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  • Akrasia and the Problem of the Unity of Reason.Derek Clayton Baker - 2015 - Ratio 28 (1):65-80.
    Joseph Raz and Sergio Tenenbaum argue that the Guise of the Good thesis explains both the possibility of practical reason and its unity with theoretical reason, something Humean psychological theories may be unable to do. This paper will argue, however, that Raz and Tenenbaum face a dilemma: either the version of the Guise of the Good they offer is too strong to allow for weakness of will, or it will lose its theoretical advantage in preserving the unity of reason.
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  • The Abductive Case for Humeanism Over Quasi-Perceptual Theories of Desire.Derek Baker - 2014 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 8 (2):1-29.
    A number of philosophers have offered quasi-perceptual theories of desire, according to which to desire something is roughly to “see” it as having value or providing reasons. These are offered as alternatives to the more traditional Humean Theory of Motivation, which denies that desires have a representational aspect. This paper examines the various considerations offered by advocates to motivate quasi-perceptualism. It argues that Humeanism is in fact able to explain the same data that the quasi-perceptualist can explain, and in one (...)
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  • Might Desires Be Beliefs About Normative Reasons?Alex Gregory - 2017 - In Julien Deonna & Federico Lauria (eds.), The Nature of Desire. Oxford University Press. pp. 201-217.
    This paper examines the view that desires are beliefs about normative reasons for action. It describes the view, and briefly sketches three arguments for it. But the focus of the paper is defending the view from objections. The paper argues that the view is consistent with the distinction between the direction of fit of beliefs and desires, that it is consistent with the existence of appetites such as hunger, that it can account for counterexamples that aim to show that beliefs (...)
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