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The Guise of the Good

Noûs 26 (1):3 - 26 (1992)

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  1. The Moral Worth of Intentional Actions.Laura Tomlinson - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Good and Good For.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2010 - In Desire, Practical Reason, and the Good. Oxford University Press.
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  • Pain Signals Are Predominantly Imperative.Manolo Martínez & Colin Klein - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (2):283-298.
    Recent work on signaling has mostly focused on communication between organisms. The Lewis–Skyrms framework should be equally applicable to intra-organismic signaling. We present a Lewis–Skyrms signaling-game model of painful signaling, and use it to argue that the content of pain is predominantly imperative. We address several objections to the account, concluding that our model gives a productive framework within which to consider internal signaling.
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  • Reducing Reasons.Matthew Silverstein - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 10 (1):1-22.
    Reasons are considerations that figure in sound reasoning. This is considered by many philosophers to be little more than a platitude. I argue that it actually has surprising and far-reaching metanormative implications. The view that reasons are linked to sound reasoning seems platitudinous only because we tend to assume that soundness is a normative property, in which case the view merely relates one normative phenomenon (reasons) to another (soundness). I argue that soundness is also a descriptive phenomenon, one we can (...)
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  • Brentano’s Evaluative-Attitudinal Account of Will and Emotion.Uriah Kriegel - 2017 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 142 (4):529-548.
    In contemporary analytic philosophy of mind, Franz Brentano is known mostly for his thesis that intentionality is ‘the mark of the mental.’ Among Brentano scholars, there are also lively debates on his theory of consciousness and his theory of judgment. Brentano’s theory of will and emotion is less widely discussed, even within the circles of Brentano scholarship. In this paper, I want to show that this is a missed opportunity, certainly for Brentano scholars but also for contemporary philosophy of mind. (...)
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  • A Constitutive Account of 'Rationality Requires'.Julian Fink - 2014 - Erkenntnis (4):909-941.
    The requirements of rationality are fundamental in practical and theoretical philosophy. Nonetheless, there exists no correct account of what constitutes rational requirements. This paper attempts to provide a correct constitutive account of ‘rationality requires’. I argue that rational requirements are grounded in ‘necessary explanations of subjective incoherence’, as I shall put it. Rationality requires of you to X if and only if your rational capacities, in conjunction with the fact that you not-X, explain necessarily why you have a non-maximal degree (...)
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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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  • "The Logic of the Liver". A Deontic View of the Intentionality of Desire.Federico Lauria - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Geneva
    Desires matter. How are we to understand the intentionality of desire? According to the two classical views, desire is either a positive evaluation or a disposition to act: to desire a state is to positively evaluate it or to be disposed to act to realize it. This Ph.D. Dissertation examines these conceptions of desire and proposes a deontic alternative inspired by Meinong. On this view, desiring is representing a state of affairs as what ought to be or, if one prefers, (...)
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  • The Guise of the Objectively Good.Samuel Kahn - 2013 - Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (1-2):87-99.
    According to one influential version of the derivation of Kant’s Formula of Humanity, the following claim is true: Agents necessarily represent their ends as objectively good. In this paper I argue that there is good reason to regard GOG as false. The paper is divided into four sections. In the first, I explain what is at stake in arguing that GOG is false. In the second, I explicate the terminology in this claim. I also contrast the claim with other possible (...)
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  • Guise of the Good.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell.
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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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  • Intelligibility and the Guise of the Good.Paul Boswell - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (1):1-31.
    According to the Guise of the Good, an agent only does for a reason what she sees as good. One of the main motivations for the view is its apparent ability to explain why action for a reason must be intelligible to its agent, for on this view, an action is intelligible just in case it seems good. This motivation has come under criticism in recent years. Most notably, Kieran Setiya has argued that merely seeing one’s action as good does (...)
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  • Introduction. Reconsidering Some Dogmas About Desire.Federico Lauria & Julien Deonna - 2017 - In Federico Lauria & Julien Deonna (eds.), The Nature of Desire. New York: Oxford University Press.
    Desire has not been at the center of recent preoccupations in the philosophy of mind. Consequently, the literature settled into several dogmas. The first part of this introduction presents these dogmas and invites readers to scrutinize them. The main dogma is that desires are motivational states. This approach contrasts with the other dominant conception: desires are positive evaluations. But there are at least four other dogmas: the world should conform to our desires (world-to-mind direction of fit), desires involve a positive (...)
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  • The "Guise of the Ought-to-Be". A Deontic View of the Intentionality of Desire.Federico Lauria - 2017 - In Federico Lauria & Julien Deonna (eds.), The Nature of Desire. New York: Oxford University Press.
    How are we to understand the intentionality of desire? According to the two classical views, desire is either a positive evaluation or a disposition to act. This essay examines these conceptions of desire and argues for a deontic alternative, namely the view that desiring is representing a state of affairs as what ought to be. Three lines of criticism of the classical pictures of desire are provided. The first concerns desire’s direction of fit, i.e. the intuition that the world should (...)
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  • Changing Direction on Direction of Fit.Alex Gregory - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (5):603-614.
    In this paper, I show that we should understand the direction of fit of beliefs and desires in normative terms. After rehearsing a standard objection to Michael Smith’s analysis of direction of fit, I raise a similar problem for Lloyd Humberstone’s analysis. I go on to offer my own account, according to which the difference between beliefs and desires is determined by the normative relations such states stand in. I argue that beliefs are states which we have reason to change (...)
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  • The Guise of Reasons.Alex Gregory - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (1):63-72.
    In this paper it is argued that we should amend the traditional understanding of the view known as the guise of the good. The guise of the good is traditionally understood as the view that we only want to act in ways that we believe to be good in some way. But it is argued that a more plausible view is that we only want to act in ways that we believe we have normative reason to act in. This change (...)
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  • Agency and Normative Self-Governance.Matthew Silverstein - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3):517-528.
    We are agents: we can deliberate about what to do, and then act on the basis of that deliberation. We are also capable of normative self-governance: we can identify and respond to reasons as reasons. Many theorists believe that these two capacities are intimately connected. On the basis of this connection they conclude that practical reasoning must be carried out under the guise of a justification. This paper explores two strategies for avoiding that conclusion. The first, which just denies the (...)
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  • Do Desires Provide Reasons? An Argument Against the Cognitivist Strategy.Avery Archer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (8):2011-2027.
    According to the cognitivist strategy, the desire to bring about P provides reasons for intending to bring about P in a way analogous to how perceiving that P provides reasons for believing that P. However, while perceiving P provides reasons for believing P by representing P as true, desiring to bring about P provides reasons for intending to bring about P by representing P as good. This paper offers an argument against this view. My argument proceeds via an appeal to (...)
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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 Asymmetry of Good and Evil.Philip Pettit - 2015 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Vol. 5. Oxford University Press. pp. 15-37.
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  • The Irrational Project: Toward a Different Understanding of Self-Deception.Amber Leigh Griffioen - 2010 - Iowa Research Online.
    This dissertation focuses on questions regarding the metaphysical and psychological possibility of self-deception and attempts to show that self-deception is a phenomenon best characterized as both motivated and intentional, such that self-deceivers can be held responsible for their deceptions in a stronger sense than that of being merely epistemically negligent. -/- In Chapter One, I introduce the paradoxes of self-deception, which arise when one attempts to draw a close analogy between self- and other-deception, and I discuss the various ways in (...)
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  • Acting on a Ground : Reasons, Rational Motivation, and Explanation.Magnus Frei - 2016 - Dissertation, Fribourg
    When someone does something for a reason, what are the reasons for which she does what she does? What is her ‘motivating reason’, as it is sometimes put? The simple answer is: it depends on what is meant by ‘motivating reason’. Non-Psychologists hold that motivating reasons are what the agent believes. I have shown that given that we understand ‘motivating reasons’ as what I term 'grounds', this is quite correct, as what we believe is what plays the role of a (...)
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  • You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do.John Gibbons - 2009 - Noûs 43 (1):157-177.
    One question about the role of the mental in the determination of practical reason concerns the pro-attitudes: can any set of beliefs, without the help of a desire, rationalize or make reasonable a desire, intention, attempt, or intentional action? After criticizing Michael Smith’s argument for a negative answer to this question, I present two arguments in favor of a positive answer. Another question about the role of the mental in the determination of practical reason concerns belief: what gives you a (...)
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  • How Expressivists Can and Should Explain Inconsistency.Derek Clayton Baker & Jack Woods - 2015 - Ethics 125 (2):391-424.
    Mark Schroeder has argued that all reasonable forms of inconsistency of attitude consist of having the same attitude type towards a pair of inconsistent contents (A-type inconsistency). We suggest that he is mistaken in this, offering a number of intuitive examples of pairs of distinct attitudes types with consistent contents which are intuitively inconsistent (B-type inconsistency). We further argue that, despite the virtues of Schroeder's elegant A-type expressivist semantics, B-type inconsistency is in many ways the more natural choice in developing (...)
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  • Moral Attitudes for Non-Cognitivists: Solving the Specification Problem.Gunnar Björnsson & Tristram McPherson - 2014 - Mind 123 (489):1-38.
    Moral non-cognitivists hope to explain the nature of moral agreement and disagreement as agreement and disagreement in non-cognitive attitudes. In doing so, they take on the task of identifying the relevant attitudes, distinguishing the non-cognitive attitudes corresponding to judgements of moral wrongness, for example, from attitudes involved in aesthetic disapproval or the sports fan’s disapproval of her team’s performance. We begin this paper by showing that there is a simple recipe for generating apparent counterexamples to any informative specification of the (...)
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  • The Guise of the Good and the Problem of Partiality.Allan Hazlett - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (6):851-872.
    According to the guise of the good thesis, we desire things under the ‘guise of the good.’ Here I sympathetically articulate a generic formulation of the guise of the good thesis, and addre...
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  • Kierkegaard's Ethicist: Fichte's Role in Kierkegaard's Construction of the Ethical Standpoint.Michelle Kosch - 2006 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 88 (3):261-295.
    I argue that Fichte (rather than Kant or Hegel or some amalgam of the two) was the primary historical model for the ethical standpoint described in Kierkegaard's Either/Or II. I then explain how looking at Kierkegaard's texts with Fichte in mind helps in interpreting the criticism of the ethical standpoint in works like The Sickness unto Death and Concluding Unscientific Postscript, as well as the significance of the discussion of secular ethics in Fear and Trembling. I conclude with a brief (...)
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  • Perfection and Fiction : A Study in Iris Murdoch's Moral Philosophy.Frits Gåvertsson - 2018 - Dissertation, Lund University
    This thesis comprises a study of the ethical thought of Iris Murdoch with special emphasis, as evidenced by the title, on how morality is intimately connected to self-improvement aiming at perfection and how the study of fiction has an important role to play in our strive towards bettering ourselves within the framework set by Murdoch’s moral philosophy.
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  • Are All Normative Judgments Desire-Like?Alex Gregory - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12 (1):29-55.
    In this paper I first argue against one attractive formulation of the motivation argument, and against one attractive formulation of noncognitivism. I do so by example: I suggest that other-regarding normative judgments do not seem to have motivational powers and do not seem to be desires. After defending these two claims, I argue that other views can accommodate the motivational role of normative judgment without facing this objection. For example, desire-as-belief theories do so, since such theories only say that some (...)
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  • I—Kathleen Stock: Fictive Utterance and Imagining.Kathleen Stock - 2011 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 85 (1):145-161.
    A popular approach to defining fictive utterance says that, necessarily, it is intended to produce imagining. I shall argue that this is not falsified by the fact that some fictive utterances are intended to be believed, or are non-accidentally true. That this is so becomes apparent given a proper understanding of the relation of what one imagines to one's belief set. In light of this understanding, I shall then argue that being intended to produce imagining is sufficient for fictive utterance (...)
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  • Evaluating Williamson’s Anti-Scepticism.Tony Cheng - 2008 - Sorites 21:06-11.
    Timothy Williamson’s Knowledge and its Limits has been highly influential since the beginning of this century. It can be read as a systematic response to scepticism. One of the most important notions in this response is the notion of «evidence,» which will be the focus of the present paper. I attempt to show primarily two things. First, the notion of evidence invoked by Williamson does not address the sceptical worry: he stipulates an objective notion of evidence, but this begs the (...)
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  • Desires and Normative Truths: A Holist's Response to the Sceptics.R. H. Myers - 2012 - Mind 121 (482):375-406.
    According to the practicality requirement, there could be truths about what people have reason to do only if people’s motivating states could be, in an appropriate sense, either correct or incorrect. Yet according to the Humean theory of motivation, people’s motivating states are a species of desire, and these desires are not a species of belief, being neither identical to nor entailed by them; and according to the standard view of desire, P’s desire to is, at bottom, a disposition to (...)
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  • The Agent's Role in the Causation of Action: Is Michael Smith's Causal Theory of Action in Trouble?Lucas Mateus Dalsotto - 2019 - Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 60 (142):143-164.
    ABSTRACT The goal of this paper is to find out if Michael Smith's version of the causal theory of action is able to solve David Velleman's agency par excellence challenge. Smith has claimed that his theory can deal with the challenge insofar as the exercise of the capacity to be instrumentally rational plays the intermediating role which Velleman thinks of the agent as playing in the causation of action. However, I argue Smith misunderstands the challenge at hand, thereby failing to (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Pure Cognitivism and Beyond.Attila Tanyi - 2014 - Acta Analytica 29 (3):331-348.
    The article begins with Jonathan Dancy’s attempt to refute the Humean Theory of Motivation. It first spells out Dancy’s argument for his alternative position, the view he labels ‘Pure Cognitivism’, according to which what motivate are always beliefs, never desires. The article next argues that Dancy’s argument for his position is flawed. On the one hand, it is not true that desire always comes with motivation in the agent; on the other, even if this was the case, it would still (...)
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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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  • VIII-An Argument Against Motivational Internalism.Elinor Mason - 2008 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1part2):135-156.
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  • Intending, Settling, and Relying.Facundo M. Alonso - 2017 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. Volume 4. Oxford University Press. pp. 50-74.
    Philosophers of action of different persuasions have suggested that there is a tight connection between the phenomenon of intending and the phenomena of “being settled on” and of “settling” a course of action. For many, this connection supports an important constraint on intention: one may only intend what one takes one’s so intending as settling. Traditionally, this has been understood as a doxastic constraint on intention: what one takes one’s intention as settling is what one believes one’s so intending as (...)
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  • Moral Expressivism and Sentential Negation.Neil Sinclair - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (3):385-411.
    This paper advances three necessary conditions on a successful account of sentential negation. First, the ability to explain the constancy of sentential meaning across negated and unnegated contexts (the Fregean Condition). Second, the ability to explain why sentences and their negations are inconsistent, and inconsistent in virtue of the meaning of negation (the Semantic Condition). Third, the ability of the account to generalize regardless of the topic of the negated sentence (the Generality Condition). The paper discusses three accounts of negation (...)
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  • Normative Reasons as Good Bases.Alex Gregory - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (9):2291-2310.
    In this paper, I defend a new theory of normative reasons called reasons as good bases, according to which a normative reason to φ is something that is a good basis for φing. The idea is that the grounds on which we do things—bases—can be better or worse as things of their kind, and a normative reason—a good reason—is something that is just a good instance of such a ground. After introducing RGB, I clarify what it is to be a (...)
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  • The Good, the Bad, and the Uncertain: Intentional Action Under Normative Uncertainty.Fabienne Peter - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (1):57-70.
    My focus in this paper is on a type of bad actions, namely actions that appear to be done for reasons that are not good reasons. I take such bad actions to be ubiquitous. But their ubiquity gives rise to a puzzle, especially if we assume that intentional actions are performed for what one believes or takes to be good reasons. The puzzle I aim to solve in this paper is: why do we seem to be getting it wrong so (...)
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  • Are Intelligible Agents Square?Clea F. Rees - unknown
    In How We Get Along, J. David Velleman argues for two related theses: first, that ‘making sense’ of oneself to oneself and others is a constitutive aim of action; second, that this fact about action grounds normativity. Examining each thesis in turn, I argue against the first that an agent may deliberately act in ways which make sense in terms of neither her self-conception nor others' conceptions of her. Against the second thesis, I argue that some vices are such that (...)
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  • Acting Sub Specie Boni.Erasmus Mayr - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (sup2):55-72.
    On a traditional view of human agency, intentional actions are performed sub specie boni: Agents, in acting intentionally, must see some good in what they are doing. This view has come under heavy criticism, which has partly focussed on several putative counterexamples, and partly on the view’s underlying rationale. In this paper, I defend one version of the sub specie boni view and try to show that it still deserves its old standing as the “default view” about acting with an (...)
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  • Happiness, Pleasure, and Belief.Edward Skidelsky - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3):435-446.
    This paper argues that happiness and pleasure are distinct states of mind because they stand in a distinct logical relation to belief. Roughly, being happy about a state of affairs s implies that one believes that s satisfies the description ‘s’ and that it is in some way good, whereas taking pleasure in s does not. In particular, Fred Feldman's analysis of happiness in terms of attitudinal pleasure overlooks this distinction.
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  • The Platonic Model: Statement, Clarification and Defense.Benjamin Mitchell-Yellin - 2015 - Philosophical Explorations 18 (3):378-392.
    I defend Gary Watson's Platonic Model of free agency against two arguments by counterexample, one by J. David Velleman and the other by Michael Bratman. I claim that these arguments are unconvincing for three reasons. First, they do not accurately target the Platonic Model. Second, they do not convincingly present cases of self-governed action. Third, they call attention to issues about theoretical commitments that are not fit to be settled by appeal to cases. On the basis of this discussion, I (...)
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  • Knowing the Good and Knowing What One is Doing.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (S1):91-117.
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  • What is Reliance?Facundo M. Alonso - 2014 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 (2):163-183.
    In this article I attempt to provide a conceptual framework for thinking about reliance in a systematic way. I argue that reliance is a cognitive attitude that has a tighter connection to the guidance of our thought and action than ordinary belief does. My main thesis is that reliance has a ‘constitutive aim’: namely, it aims at guiding our thought and action in a way that is sensible from the standpoint of practical or theoretical ends. This helps explain why reliance (...)
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  • A Moorean Paradox of Desire.David Wall - 2012 - Philosophical Explorations 15 (1):63-84.
    Moore's paradox is a paradox in which certain kinds of belief or assertion, such as a belief that ?it is raining and I do not believe that it is raining?, are irrational despite involving no obvious contradiction in what is believed. But is there a parallel paradox involving other kinds of attitude, in particular desire? I argue that certain kinds of desire would be irrational to have for similar, distinctive reasons that having Moorean beliefs would be irrational to have. Hence, (...)
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  • Practical Reason: A Review of the Current Debate and Problems. [REVIEW]Stefan Gosepath - 2002 - Philosophical Explorations 5 (3):229 – 238.
    In this review article I refer to some of the most relevant recent publications in the field of practical rationality, mainly drawing on two new anthologies by Wallace and Millgram that contain the principal arguments in the current debate, and on new books and articles by Bittner, Dancy, Nida-Rümelin and Raz. The purpose of the article is to offer an overview of the relevant positions in the current debate, to clarify the main arguments against the belief-desire model, and to situate (...)
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