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Might Desires Be Beliefs About Normative Reasons?

In Julien Deonna & Federico Lauria (eds.), The Nature of Desire. Oxford University Press. pp. 201-217 (2017)

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  1. Desire as Belief II.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Mind 105 (418):303-13.
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  • Desiring the Bad: An Essay in Moral Psychology.Michael Stocker - 1979 - Journal of Philosophy 76 (12):738-753.
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  • Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
    It is my view that one essential difference between persons and other creatures is to be found in the structure of a person's will. Besides wanting and choosing and being moved to do this or that, men may also want to have certain desires and motives. They are capable of wanting to be different, in their preferences and purposes, from what they are. Many animals appear to have the capacity for what I shall call "first-order desires" or "desires of the (...)
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  • Intention and Weakness of Will.Richard Holton - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (5):241.
    Philosophical orthodoxy identifies weakness of will with akrasia: the weak willed person is someone who intentionally acts against their better judgement. It is argued that this is a mistake. Weakness of will consists in a quite different failing, namely an over-ready revision of one's intentions. Building on the work of Bratman, an account of such over-ready revision is given. A number of examples are then adduced showing how weakness of will, so understood, differs from akrasia.
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  • Knowing What I Want.Alex Byrne - 2011 - In JeeLoo Liu & John Perry (eds.), Consciousness and the Self: New Essays. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    How do you know what you want? The question is neglected by epistemologists. This paper attempts an answer.
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  • Sympathy for the Devil.Kieran Setiya - 2010 - In Sergio Tenenbaum (ed.), Desire, Practical Reason, and the Good. Oxford University Press. pp. 82--110.
    Argues that, while human beings may act "under the guise of the good," this is not true of rational agents, as such. Themes discussed along the way – extending the argument of "Reasons without Rationalism" (Princeton, 2007) – include: desires as appearances of the good, the intelligibility of vice, and the kind of essentialist claim that permits exceptions.
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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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  • Desire and Self-Knowledge.Jordi Fernández - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4):517 – 536.
    In this paper, I propose an account of self-knowledge for desires. According to this account, we form beliefs about our own desires on the basis of our grounds for those desires. First, I distinguish several types of desires and their corresponding grounds. Next, I make the case that we usually believe that we have a certain desire on the basis of our grounds for it. Then, I argue that a belief formed thus is epistemically privileged. Finally, I compare this account (...)
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  • Internal and External Reasons.Bernard Williams - 1979 - In Ross Harrison (ed.), Rational Action. Cambridge University Press. pp. 101-113.
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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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  • Mapping Moral Motivation.Eve Garrard & David McNaughton - 1998 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 1 (1):45-59.
    In this paper we defend a version of moral internalism and a cognitivist account of motivation against recent criticisms. The internalist thesis we espouse claims that, if an agent believes she has reason to A, then she is motivated to A. Discussion of counter-examples has been clouded by the absence of a clear account of the nature of motivation. While we can only begin to provide such an account in this paper, we do enough to show that our version of (...)
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  • Desire as Belief.David K. Lewis - 1988 - Mind 97 (418):323-32.
    Argues for the humean theory of motivation on the grounds that rejecting it requires rejecting decision theory.
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  • Freedom and Necessity.A. Ayer - 1954 - In Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 271-284.
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  • The Intentional Stance.Daniel DENNETT - 1987 - MIT Press.
    Through the use of such "folk" concepts as belief, desire, intention, and expectation, Daniel Dennett asserts in this first full scale presentation of...
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  • Virtue as Knowledge: Objections From the Philosophy of Mind.Margaret Olivia Little - 1997 - Noûs 31 (1):59-79.
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  • Defending Desire-as-Belief.Huw Price - 1989 - Mind 98 (January):119-27.
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  • The Humean Theory of Motivation.Michael Smith - 1987 - Mind 96 (381):36-61.
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  • The Authority of Desire.Dennis W. Stampe - 1987 - Philosophical Review 96 (July):335-81.
    The Aristotelian dictum that desire is the starting point of practical reasoning that ends in action can of course be denied. Its denial is a commonplace of moral theory in the tradition of Kant. But in this essay I am concerned with that issue only indirectly. I shall not contend that rational action always or necessarily does involve desire as its starting point; nor shall I deny it. My question concerns instead the possibility of its ever beginning in desire. For (...)
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  • How Is Weakness of the Will Possible?Donald Davidson - 1969 - In Joel Feinberg (ed.), Moral Concepts. Oxford University Press.
    D. In doing x an agent acts incontinently if and only if: 1) the agent does x intentionally; 2) the agent believes there is an alternative action y open to him; and 3) the agent judges that, all things considered, it would be better to do y than to do x.
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  • Internal Reasons and the Obscurity of Blame.Bernard Williams - 1989 - In William J. Prior (ed.), Reason and Moral Judgment, Logos, vol. 10. Santa Clara University.
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  • On the Guise of the Good.Joseph Raz - manuscript
    I will provisionally take the Guise of the Good thesis to consist of three propositions: (1) Intentional actions are actions performed for reasons, as those are seen by the agents. (2) Specifying the intention which makes an action intentional identifies central features of the reason(s) for which the action is performed. (3) Reasons for action are such reasons by being facts which establish that the action has some value. From these it is said to follow that (4) Intentional actions are (...)
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