Affective Experience, Desire, and Reasons for Action

Analytic Philosophy 60 (1):27-54 (2019)
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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 for action only insofar as they are dispositions to have affective experiences. On this account, affective experience has a central role to play in explaining how desires provide reasons for action.

Author Profiles

Jeremy Weiss
Ohio State University
Declan Smithies
Ohio State University


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