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  1. Reasons and the Good.Roger Crisp - 2006 - Clarendon Press.
    In Reasons and the Good Roger Crisp answers some of the oldest questions in moral philosophy. Fundamental to ethics, he claims, is the idea of ultimate reasons for action; and he argues controversially that these reasons do not depend on moral concepts. He investigates the nature of reasons themselves, and how we come to know them. He defends a hedonistic theory of well-being and an account of practical reason according to which we can give some, though not overriding, priority to (...)
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  • Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
    Challenging, with several powerful arguments, some of our deepest beliefs about rationality, morality, and personal identity, Parfit claims that we have a false view about our own nature. It is often rational to act against our own best interersts, he argues, and most of us have moral views that are self-defeating. We often act wrongly, although we know there will be no one with serious grounds for complaint, and when we consider future generations it is very hard to avoid conclusions (...)
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  • The Methods of Ethics.Henry Sidgwick - 1874 - Thoemmes Press.
    This Hackett edition, first published in 1981, is an unabridged and unaltered republication of the seventh edition as published by Macmillan and Company, Limited. From the forward by John Rawls: In the utilitarian tradition Henry Sidgwick has an important place. His fundamental work, The Methods of Ethics, is the clearest and most accessible formulation of what we may call 'the classical utilitarian doctorine.' This classical doctrine holds that the ultimate moral end of social and individual action is the greatest net (...)
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  • Reasons Without Rationalism.Kieran Setiya - 2007 - Princeton University Press.
    Modern philosophy has been vexed by the question "Why should I be moral?" and by doubts about the rational authority of moral virtue. In Reasons without Rationalism, Kieran Setiya shows that these doubts rest on a mistake. The "should" of practical reason cannot be understood apart from the virtues of character, including such moral virtues as justice and benevolence, and the considerations to which the virtues make one sensitive thereby count as reasons to act. Proposing a new framework for debates (...)
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  • Ethical Theory the Problems of Normative and Critical Ethics.Richard B. Brandt - 1959 - Prentice-Hall.
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  • Ifs and Oughts.Niko Kolodny & John MacFarlane - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (3):115-143.
    We consider a paradox involving indicative conditionals (‘ifs’) and deontic modals (‘oughts’). After considering and rejecting several standard options for resolv- ing the paradox—including rejecting various premises, positing an ambiguity or hidden contextual sensitivity, and positing a non-obvious logical form—we offer a semantics for deontic modals and indicative conditionals that resolves the paradox by making modus ponens invalid. We argue that this is a result to be welcomed on independent grounds, and we show that rejecting the general validity of modus (...)
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  • The Groundless Normativity of Instrumental Rationality.Donald C. Hubin - 2001 - Journal of Philosophy 98 (9):445.
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  • The Groundless Normativity of Instrumental Rationality.Donald C. Hubin - 2001 - Journal of Philosophy 98 (9):445-468.
    Neo-Humean instrumentalist theories of reasons for acting have been presented with a dilemma: either they are normatively trivial and, hence, inadequate as a normative theory or they covertly commit themselves to a noninstrumentalist normative principle. The claimed result is that no purely instrumentalist theory of reasons for acting can be normatively adequate. This dilemma dissolves when we understand what question neo-Humean instrumentalists are addressing. The dilemma presupposes that neo-Humeans are attempting to address the question of how to act, 'simpliciter'. Instead, (...)
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  • On the Grammar of `Enjoy'.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1967 - Journal of Philosophy 64 (19):607-614.
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  • Replies.T. M. Scanlon - 2002 - Social Theory and Practice 28 (2):337-358.
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  • Desires, Motives, and Reasons: Scanlon's Rationalistic Moral Psychology.David Copp & David Sobel - 2002 - Social Theory and Practice 28 (2):243-76.
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  • Essays on the Moral Concepts.R. M. Hare - 1972 - London: Macmillan.
    Preface In this third volume of my collected papers I have included all but one of my main contributions, apart from my books The Language of Morals and ...
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  • Consequentialism and Cluelessness.James Lenman - 2000 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 29 (4):342-370.
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  • The Strike of the Demon: On Fitting Pro‐Attitudes and Value.Wlodek Rabinowicz & Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen - 2004 - Ethics 114 (3):391-423.
    The paper presents and discusses the so-called Wrong Kind of Reasons Problem (WKR problem) that arises for the fitting-attitudes analysis of value. This format of analysis is exemplified for example by Scanlon's buck-passing account, on which an object's value consists in the existence of reasons to favour the object- to respond to it in a positive way. The WKR problem can be put as follows: It appears that in some situations we might well have reasons to have pro-attitudes toward objects (...)
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  • Decision-Theoretic Consequentialism and the Nearest and Dearest Objection.Frank Jackson - 1991 - Ethics 101 (3):461-482.
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  • Six Theses About Pleasure.Stuart Rachels - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):247-267.
    I defend these claims: (1) 'Pleasure' has exactly one English antonym: 'unpleasure.' (2) Pleasure is the most convincing example of an organic unity. (3) The hedonic calculus is a joke. (4) An important type of pleasure is background pleasure. (5) Pleasures in bad company are still good. (6) Higher pleasures aren't pleasures (and if they were, they wouldn't be higher). Thesis (1) merely concerns terminology, but theses (2)-(6) are substantive, evaluative claims.
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  • What's Special About Humeanism.Donald C. Hubin - 1999 - Noûs 33 (1):30-45.
    One of the attractions of the Humean instrumentalist theory of practical rationality is that it appears to offer a special connection between an agent's reasons and her motivation. The assumption that Humeanism is able to assert a strong connection between reason and motivation has been challenged, most notably by Christine Korsgaard. She argues that Humeanism is not special in the connection it allows to motivation. On the contrary, Humean theories of practical rationality do connect reasons and motivation in a unique (...)
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  • Pain for Objectivists: The Case of Matters of Mere Taste.David Sobel - 2005 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (4):437 - 457.
    Can we adequately account for our reasons of mere taste without holding that our desires ground such reasons? Recently, Scanlon and Parfit have argued that we can, pointing to pleasure and pain as the grounds of such reasons. In this paper I take issue with each of their accounts. I conclude that we do not yet have a plausible rival to a desire-based understanding of the grounds of such reasons.
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  • Against Direction of Fit Accounts of Belief and Desire.David Sobel & Copp - 2001 - Analysis 61 (1):44-53.
    The authors argue against direction of fit accounts of the distinction between belief and desire.
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  • A Kantian Rationale for Desire-Based Justification.Paul Hurley - 2001 - Philosophers' Imprint 1:1-16.
    This paper demonstrates that a rationale for a circumscribed form of desire-based justification can be developed out of a contemporary Kantian account as a natural extension of that account. It maintains that certain of Christine Korsgaard's recent arguments establish only that desires must have certain features antithetical to instrumentalism in order to justify. Other arguments purport to establish the standard (stronger) result: that because desires do not have these features, they cannot justify. Her arguments for this strong result, it contends, (...)
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  • The Reduction of Sensory Pleasure to Desire.Chris Heathwood - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (1):23-44.
    One of the leading approaches to the nature of sensory pleasure reduces it to desire: roughly, a sensation qualifies as a sensation of pleasure just in case its subject wants to be feeling it. This approach is, in my view, correct, but it has never been formulated quite right; and it needs to be defended against some compelling arguments. Thus the purpose of this paper is to discover the most defensible formulation of this rough idea, and to defend it against (...)
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  • Wanting and Liking: Observations From the Neuroscience and Psychology Laboratory.Kent C. Berridge - 2009 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 52 (4):378 – 398.
    Different brain mechanisms seem to mediate wanting and liking for the same reward. This may have implications for the modular nature of mental processes, and for understanding addictions, compulsions, free will and other aspects of desire. A few wanting and liking phenomena are presented here, together with discussion of some of these implications.
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  • Three Faces of Desire.Timothy Schroeder - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
    To desire something is a condition familiar to everyone. It is uncontroversial that desiring has something to do with motivation, something to do with pleasure, and something to do with reward. Call these "the three faces of desire." The standard philosophical theory at present holds that the motivational face of desire presents its unique essence--to desire a state of affairs is to be disposed to act so as to bring it about. A familiar but less standard account holds the hedonic (...)
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  • Practical Reality.Jonathan Dancy - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
    Practical Reality is a lucid original study of the relation between the reasons why we do things and the reasons why we should. Jonathan Dancy maintains that current philosophical orthodoxy bowdlerizes this relation, making it impossible to understand how anyone can act for a good reason. By giving a fresh account of values and reasons, he finds a place for normativity in philosophy of mind and action, and strengthens the connection between these areas and ethics.
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  • Engaging Reason: On the Theory of Value and Action.Joseph Raz - 1999 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press UK.
    Joseph Raz presents a penetrating exploration of the interdependence of value, reason, and the will. These essays illuminate a wide range of questions concerning fundamental aspects of human thought and action. Engaging Reason is a summation of many years of original, compelling, and influential work by a major contemporary philosopher.
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  • The Retreat of Reason: A Dilemma in the Philosophy of Life.Ingmar Persson - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
    The Retreat of Reason brings back to philosophy the ambition of offering a broad vision of the human condition. One of the main original aims of philosophy was to give people guidance about how to live their lives. Ingmar Persson resumes this practical project, which has been largely neglected in contemporary philosophy, but his conclusions are very different from those of the ancient Greeks. They typically argued that a life led in accordance with reason, a rational life, would also be (...)
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  • Slaves of the Passions.Mark Schroeder - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    Long claimed to be the dominant conception of practical reason, the Humean theory that reasons for action are instrumental, or explained by desires, is the basis for a range of worries about the objective prescriptivity of morality. As a result, it has come under intense attack in recent decades. A wide variety of arguments have been advanced which purport to show that it is false, or surprisingly, even that it is incoherent. Slaves of the Passions aims to set the record (...)
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  • What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
    In this book, T. M. Scanlon offers new answers to these questions, as they apply to the central part of morality that concerns what we owe to each other.
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  • Appearances of the Good: An Essay on the Nature of Practical Reason.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
    'We desire all and only those things we conceive to be good; we avoid what we conceive to be bad.' This slogan was once the standard view of the relationship between desire or motivation and rational evaluation. Many critics have rejected this scholastic formula as either trivial or wrong. It appears to be trivial if we just define the good as 'what we want', and wrong if we consider apparent conflicts between what we seem to want and what we seem (...)
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  • Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers 1973–1980.Bernard Williams - 1981 - Cambridge University Press.
    A new volume of philosophical essays by Bernard Williams. The book is a successor to Problems of the Self, but whereas that volume dealt mainly with questions of personal identity, Moral Luck centres on questions of moral philosophy and the theory of rational action. That whole area has of course been strikingly reinvigorated over the last deacde, and philosophers have both broadened and deepened their concerns in a way that now makes much earlier moral and political philosophy look sterile and (...)
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  • Desires, Whims and Values.Donald C. Hubin - 2003 - The Journal of Ethics 7 (3):315-335.
    Neo-Humean instrumentalists hold that an agent's reasons for acting are grounded in the agent's desires. Numerous objections have been leveled against this view, but the most compelling concerns the problem of "alien desires" - desires with which the agent does not identify. The standard version of neo-Humeanism holds that these desires, like any others, generate reasons for acting. A variant of neo-Humeanism that grounds an agent's reasons on her values, rather than all of her desires, avoids this implication, but at (...)
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  • Integrity, the Self, and Desire-Based Accounts of the Good.Robert Noggle - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 96 (3):301-328.
    Desire-based theories of well-being claim that a person's well-being consists of the satisfaction of her desires. Many of these theories say that well-being consists of the satisfaction of desires that she would have if her desires were "corrected" in various ways. Some versions of this theory claim that the corrections involve having "full information" or being an "ideal observer." I argue that well-being does not depend on what one would desire if she were an “ideal observer.” Rather, it depends on (...)
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  • Is Unpleasantness Intrinsic to Unpleasant Experiences?Stuart Rachels - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 99 (2):187-210.
    Unpleasant experiences include backaches, moments of nausea, moments of nervousness, phantom pains, and so on. What does their unpleasantness consist in? The unpleasantness of an experience has been thought to consist in: (1) its representing bodily damage; (2) its inclining the subject to fight its continuation; (3) the subject's disliking it; (4) features intrinsic to it. I offer compelling objections to (1) and (2) and less compelling objections to (3). I defend (4) against five challenging objections and offer two reasons (...)
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  • Desire, Judgment, and Reason: Exploring the Path Not Taken.Paul Hurley - 2007 - Journal of Ethics 11 (4):437-463.
    At the outset of The Possibility of Altruism Thomas Nagel charts two paths out of the fundamental dilemma confronting metaethics. The first path rejects the claim that a persuasive account of the motivational backing of ethical judgments must involve an agent’s desires. But it is the second path, a path that Nagel charts but does not himself take, that is the focus of this essay. This path retains the standard account, upon which all motivation involves desire, but denies that desires (...)
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  • Utilitarianism: Two Difficulties.H. J. McCloskey - 1973 - Philosophical Studies 24 (1):62 - 63.
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  • The Rejection of Objective Consequentialism.Frances Howard-Snyder - 1997 - Utilitas 9 (2):241-248.
    Objective consequentialism is often criticized because it is impossible to know which of our actions will have the best consequences. Why exactly does this undermine objective consequentialism? I offer a new link between the claim that our knowledge of the future is limited and the rejection of objective consequentialism: that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’ and we cannot produce the best consequences available to us. I support this apparently paradoxical contention by way of an analogy. I cannot beat Karpov at chess in (...)
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  • Morality and Action.Warren Quinn - 1993 - Cambridge University Press.
    Warren Quinn was widely regarded as a moral philosopher of remarkable talent. This collection of his most important contributions to moral philosophy and the philosophy of action has been edited for publication by Philippa Foot. Quinn laid out the foundations for an anti-utilitarian moral philosophy that was critical of much contemporary work in ethics, such as the anti-realism of Gilbert Harman and the neo-subjectivism of Bernard Williams. Quinn's own distinctive moral theory is developed in the discussion of substantial, practical moral (...)
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  • Making Sense of Humanity.Bernard Williams (ed.) - 1995 - Cambridge University Press.
    This new volume of philosophical papers by Bernard Williams is divided into three sections: the first Action, Freedom, Responsibility, the second Philosophy, Evolution and the Human Sciences; in which appears the essay which gives the collection its title; and the third Ethics, which contains essays closely related to his 1983 book Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. Like the two earlier volumes of Williams's papers published by Cambridge University Press, Problems of the Self and Moral Luck, this volume will be (...)
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  • World, Mind, and Ethics: Essays on the Ethical Philosophy of Bernard Williams.Bernard Williams (ed.) - 1995 - Cambridge University Press.
    This collection is a festschrift prepared for Williams on his retirement from the White’s Professorship of Moral Philosophy at Oxford. The topics covered include equality, consistency, comparison between science and ethics, integrity, moral reasons, the moral system, and moral knowledge. Most of the chapters combine exegetical and critical ambitions. With contributions by J. E. J. Altham, Jon Elster, Nicholas Jardine, Ross Harrison, Christopher Hookway, John McDowell, Martin Hollis, Martha Nussbaum, Amartya Sen, and Charles Taylor, and replies by Bernard Williams.
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  • On Pleasure, Emotion, and Striving.Karl Duncker - 1940 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 1 (June):391-430.
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  • Normative Ethics.Shelly Kagan - 1998
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  • Hedonism as Metaphysics of Mind and Value.Leonard David Katz - 1986 - Dissertation, Princeton University
    I develop and defend a hedonistic view of the constitution of human subjectivity, agency and value, while disassociating it from utilitarian accounts of morality and from the view that only pleasure is desired. Chapter One motivates the general question, "What really is of value in human living?", and introduces evaluative hedonism as an answer to this question. Chapter Two argues against preference satisfaction accounts of pleasure and of welfare, and begins the explication and defense of the hedonist's conception of pleasure (...)
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  • The Moral Problem.Michael Smith - 1994 - Blackwell.
    What is the Moral Problem? NORMATIVE ETHICS VS. META-ETHICS It is a common fact of everyday life that we appraise each others' behaviour and attitudes from ...
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  • An Analysis of Pleasure Vis-a-Vis Pain.Murat Aydede - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (3):537-570.
    I take up the issue of whether pleasure is a kind of sensation or not. This issue was much discussed by philosophers of the 1950’s and 1960’s, and apparently no resolution was reached. There were mainly two camps in the discussion: those who argued for a dispositional account, and those who favored an episodic feeling view of pleasure. Here, relying on some recent scientific research I offer an account of pleasure which neither dispositionalizes nor sensationalizes pleasure. As is usual in (...)
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  • Moore on the Right, the Good, and Uncertainty.Michael Smith - 2006 - In Terry Horgan & Mark Timmons (eds.), Metaethics After Moore. Oxford University Press. pp. 2006--133.
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  • The Simple Desire-Fulfillment Theory.Mark C. Murphy - 1999 - Noûs 33 (2):247-272.
    It seems to be a widely shared view that any defensible desire-fulfillment theory of welfare must be framed not in terms of what an agent, in fact, desires but rather in terms of what an agent would desire under hypothetical conditions that include improved information. Unfortunately, though, such accounts are subject to serious criticisms. In this paper I show that in the face of these criticisms the best response is to jettison any appeal to idealized information conditions: the considerations put (...)
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  • Essays on the moral concepts.R. M. Hare - 1972 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 163:488-488.
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  • Pain And Emotion.R. TRIGG - 1970 - Clarendon Press.
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  • An Outline of a System of Utilitarian Ethics.J. J. C. SMART - 1961 - [Carlton]Melbourne University Press on Behalf of the University of Adelaide.
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  • The Dimensions of Consequentialism: Ethics, Equality and Risk.Martin Peterson - 2013 - Cambridge University Press.
    Consequentialism, one of the major theories of normative ethics, maintains that the moral rightness of an act is determined solely by the act's consequences and its alternatives. The traditional form of consequentialism is one-dimensional, in that the rightness of an act is a function of a single moral aspect, such as the sum total of wellbeing it produces. In this book Martin Peterson introduces a new type of consequentialist theory: multidimensional consequentialism. According to this theory, an act's moral rightness depends (...)
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