About this topic
Summary The central question about desire and reason concerns the extent to which our reasons to act depend on our desires. According to ‘desire-based’ or ‘Humean’ theories of reasons, all of our reasons to act depend on our desires. On a simple version of such a theory, we have reason to do only what would serve one of our present desires. Many philosophers have found such theories attractive, insofar as they connect our reasons with our motivations, or insofar as they seem to make metaphysical and epistemological questions about reasons more tractable. But many other philosophers have found such theories unattractive, often on the grounds that they seem to threaten the rational authority of morality.
Key works A great deal of the recent literature has focused on Bernard Williams’ defence of his ‘internal reasons’ theory, a version of the desire-based theory, in his Williams 1979. Some central contributions to the literature on Williams’ view are Korsgaard 1986McDowell 1995, and Parfit 1997. There is also a lot of recent literature arguing against desire-based theories of reasons. See, for instance, Darwall 1983, Korsgaard 1997, Nagel 1970Scanlon 1998Parfit 2011. For a recent defence of a desire-based theory, see Schroeder 2007.
Introductions Finlay & Schroeder 2008Wiland 2012: ch.2
  Show all references
Related categories
Siblings:
209 found
Search inside:
(import / add options)   Order:
1 — 50 / 209
  1. Lydia B. Amir (2014). The Value of Dissatisfaction – Maintaining the Tension That Unites Desires and Reason. Axiology and Ethics:46-57.
    Remove from this list  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  2. Adrian Archer, The Rational Significance of Desire.
    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 (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  3. Steven Arkonovich (2001). Defending Desire: Scanlon's Anti-Humeanism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (3):499-519.
    In the opening chapter of What We Owe To Each Other, Tim Scanlon produces a sustained critique of a Humean conception of practical reason. Scanlon claims he will argue that unless having a desire just is to see something as a reason, desires play no role in the explanation or justification of action. Yet his specific arguments against Humeanism all employ a very austere understanding of desire , and attempt to show that desires so understood are not up to any (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (10 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  4. Robert K. Armstrong (2004). Normativity and Individualism: An Essay on Hume. Dissertation, Columbia University
    Hume's theory of practical rationality, it has been claimed, fails to account for the intrinsically social character of practical deliberation and of the norms governing action. While the standard way of pressing this critique is unsuccessful, it can be advanced in another way. It is alleged that Hume cannot explain how it is possible to act contrary to reason because he holds that practical reasons are grounded in brute desires which are beyond the reach of rational criticism. But Hume offers (...)
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  5. Nomy Arpaly (2003). Unprincipled Virtue: An Inquiry Into Moral Agency. Oxford University Press.
    Nomy Arpaly rejects the model of rationality used by most ethicists and action theorists. Both observation and psychology indicate that people act rationally without deliberation, and act irrationally with deliberation. By questioning the notion that our own minds are comprehensible to us--and therefore questioning much of the current work of action theorists and ethicists--Arpaly attempts to develop a more realistic conception of moral agency.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   101 citations  
  6. Nomy Arpaly & Timothy Schroeder (2014). In Praise of Desire. OUP.
    Joining the debate over the roles of reason and appetite in the moral mind, In Praise of Desire takes the side of appetite. Acting for moral reasons, acting in a praiseworthy manner, and acting out of virtue are simply acting out of intrinsic desires for the right or the good.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   9 citations  
  7. Nomy Arpaly & Timothy Schroeder (2014). Précis of In Praise of Desire. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (2):490-495.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  8. Robert Audi (2007). 2 Prospects for a Naturalization of Practical Reason: Instrumentalism and the Normative Authority of Desire. In Michael O'Rourke Corey Washington (ed.), Situating Semantics: Essays on the Philosophy of John Perry. 41.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  9. Robert Audi (2002). Prospects for a Naturalization of Practical Reason: Humean Instrumentalism and the Normative Authority of Desire. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 10 (3):235 – 263.
    This is an age of naturalization projects. Much epistemological work has been done toward naturalizing theoretical reason. One might view Hume as seeking to naturalize reason in both the theoretical (roughly, epistemological) and the practical realms. I suggest that whatever else underlies the vitality of Hume's instrumentalism - encapsulated in his view that 'reason is and ought only to be the slave of the passions' - one incentive is the hope of naturalizing practical reason. This paper explores some broadly Humean (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  10. Robert Audi (1990). Weakness of Will and Rational Action. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 68 (3):270 – 281.
    Weakness of will has been widely discussed from at least three points of view. It has been examined historically, with Aristotle recently occupying centre stage. It has been analysed conceptually, with the question of its nature and possibility in the forefront. It has been considered normatively in relation to both rational action and moral character. My concern is not historical and is only secondarily conceptual: while I hope to clarify what constitutes weakness of will, I presuppose, rather than construct, an (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   7 citations  
  11. Robert Audi (1974). Thomas Nagel, The Possibility of Altruism. [REVIEW] Metaphilosophy 5:242.
  12. Annette Baier (1986). The Ambiguous Limits of Desire. In J. Marks (ed.), The Ways of Desire. Precedent 39--61.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  13. Derek Baker (2010). Ambivalent Desires and the Problem with Reduction. Philosophical Studies 150 (1):37-47.
    Ambivalence is most naturally characterized as a case of conflicting desires. In most cases, an agent’s intrinsic desires conflict contingently: there is some possible world in which both desires would be satisfied. This paper argues, though, that there are cases in which intrinsic desires necessarily conflict—i.e., the desires are not jointly satisfiable in any possible world. Desiring a challenge for its own sake is a paradigm case of such a desire. Ambivalence of this sort in an agent’s desires creates special (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (9 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  14. Melissa Barry (2010). Humean Theories of Motivation. In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics , Volume 5. Oxford University Press 195-223.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  15. Melissa Barry (2010). Slaves of the Passions by Mark Schroeder. [REVIEW] Hume Studies 36 (2):225–228.
    In Slaves of the Passions, Mark Schroeder provides a systematic, rigorously argued defense of a Humean theory of reasons for action, taking pains to respond to influential objections to the view. While inspired by Hume, Schroeder makes it clear that he aims to develop a Humean theory, not necessarily one that Hume himself embraced, and for this reason little is said about Hume in the book. One respect in which Schroeder takes himself to be departing from Hume is in developing (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  16. Melissa Barry (2007). Realism, Rational Action, and the Humean Theory of Motivation. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (3):231-242.
    Realists about practical reasons agree that judgments regarding reasons are beliefs. They disagree, however, over the question of how such beliefs motivate rational action. Some adopt a Humean conception of motivation, according to which beliefs about reasons must combine with independently existing desires in order to motivate rational action; others adopt an anti-Humean view, according to which beliefs can motivate rational action in their own right, either directly or by giving rise to a new desire that in turn motivates (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  17. Peter Brian Barry (2007). Sergio Tenenbaum, Appearances of the Good: An Essay on the Nature of Practical Reason:Appearances of the Good: An Essay on the Nature of Practical Reason. Ethics 118 (1):181-184.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  18. Piers Benn (2000). Ruling Passions by Simon Blackburn Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1998, X + 334pp. [REVIEW] Philosophy 75 (3):452-462.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  19. Simon Blackburn (2000). Humanity's Natural Face. Philosophical Explorations 3 (3):282 – 296.
    In my article I summarize a 'Humean' view of deliberation, and in particular deliberation with an ethical aspect. I regard Hume as having paved the way for a 'naturalistic' account of these things, avoiding Kantian fantasies of agency that dominate much current work. Contrary to what is often supposed, the Humean story gives a satisfactory account of dutiful or principled motivations, and a rich account of the ways in which different aspects of character are selected as 'useful or agreeable to (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  20. Simon Blackburn (1995). Practical Tortoise Raising. Mind 104 (416):695-711.
    In this paper I am not so much concerned with movements of the mind, as movements of the will. But my question bears a similarity to that of the tortoise. I want to ask whether the will is under the control of fact and reason, combined. I shall try to show that there is always something else, something that is not under the control of fact and reason, which has to be given as a brute extra, if deliberation is ever (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (8 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   11 citations  
  21. Sophie Botros (2006). Hume, Reason and Morality: A Legacy of Contradiction. Routledge.
    Covering an important theme in Humean studies, this book focuses on Humes hugely influential account of the relation between reason and morality, found in book three of his Treatise of Human Nature . Arguing that this account includes a fundamental contradiction that has gone unnoticed in modern debate, this fascinating volume contains a refreshing combination of historical-scholarly work and contemporary analysis that seeks to expose this contradiction and therefore provide a significant contribution to current scholarship in the area. Beginning by (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  22. Matthew Boyle & Douglas Lavin (2010). Goodness and Desire. In Sergio Tenenbaum (ed.), Desire, Practical Reason, and the Good. Oxford University Press 161--201.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   4 citations  
  23. Roy Boyne & Scott Lash (1984). Communicative Rationality and Desire. Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 1984 (61):152-158.
    Over the past three years or so, Telos and New German Critique have opened a debate in which Habermas's theory of communicative rationality has been counterposed to the ‘aesthetic-sensual forms of subjectivity’ advocated by certain French theorists, who have come to be known as the ‘post-structuralists’. Among the latter, the most significant figures are Michel Foucault, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. This confrontation between theories of desire and theories of communicative rationality is perhaps only just beginning, but already (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  24. J. Bransen (2013). Backsliding: Understanding Weakness of WillBy Alfred R. Mele. Analysis 73 (3):585-587.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (11 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  25. Michael E. Bratman (2003). A Desire of One's Own. Journal of Philosophy 100 (5):221-42.
    You can sometimes have and be moved by desires which you in some sense disown. The problem is whether we can make sense of these ideas of---as I will say---ownership and rejection of a desire, without appeal to a little person in the head who is looking on at the workings of her desires and giving the nod to some but not to others. Frankfurt's proposed solution to this problem, sketched in his 1971 article, has come to be called the (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   6 citations  
  26. Michael E. Bratman (1990). Dretske's Desires. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50 (4):795-800.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  27. Nathan Brett & Katharina Paxman (2008). Reason in Hume's Passions. Hume Studies 34 (1):43-59.
    Hume is famous for the view that “reason is, and ought only to be, the slave of the passions.” His claim that “we are no sooner acquainted with the impossibility of satisfying any desire, than the desire itself vanishes” is less well known. Each seems, in opposite ways, shocking to common sense. This paper explores the latter claim, looking for its source in Hume’s account of the passions and exploring its compatibility with his associationist psychology. We are led to the (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  28. David O. Brink (1997). Moral Motivation. Ethics 108 (1):4-32.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   28 citations  
  29. John Broome (1997). Reasons and Motivation: John Broome. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 71 (1):131–146.
    Derek Parfit takes an externalist and cognitivist view about normative reasons. I shall explore this view and add some arguments that support it. But I shall also raise a doubt about it at the end.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   10 citations  
  30. Donald Bruckner (2011). Second-Order Preferences and Instrumental Rationality. Acta Analytica 26 (4):367-385.
    A second-order preference is a preference over preferences. This paper addresses the role that second-order preferences play in a theory of instrumental rationality. I argue that second-order preferences have no role to play in the prescription or evaluation of actions aimed at ordinary ends. Instead, second-order preferences are relevant to prescribing or evaluating actions only insofar as those actions have a role in changing or maintaining first-order preferences. I establish these claims by examining and rejecting the view that second-order preferences (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  31. Giuseppe Butera (2012). Lombardo, Nicholas E. The Logic of Desire: Aquinas on Emotion. Review of Metaphysics 65 (4):879-881.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  32. K. Bykvist (2012). Desire, Practical Reason, and the Good * Edited by Sergio Tenenbaum. Analysis 72 (1):200-202.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (9 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  33. David K. Chan (ed.) (2008). Moral Psychology Today: Essays on Values, Rational Choice, and the Will. Springer Verlag.
    This volume is an edited collection of original papers on the theme of Values, Rational Choice, and the Will.
    Remove from this list  
    Translate
      Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  34. Ruth Chang (2004). Can Desires Provide Reasons for Action? In R. Jay Wallace (ed.), Reason and Value: Themes From the Moral Philosophy of Joseph Raz. Oxford University Press 56--90.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   8 citations  
  35. Philip Clark (2010). Aspects, Guises, Species and Knowing Something to Be Good. In Sergio Tenenbaum (ed.), Desire, Practical Reason, and the Good. Oxford University Press 234.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  36. Philip Clark (2001). Velleman's Autonomism. Ethics 111 (3):580–593.
    People sometimes think they have reasons for action. On a certain naive view, what makes them true is a connection between the action and the agent’s good life. In a recent article, David Velleman argues for replacing this view with a more Kantian line, on which reasons are reasons in virtue of their connection with autonomy. The aim in what follows is to defend the naive view. I shall first raise some problems for Velleman's proposal and then fend off the (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  37. Daniel Cohen & Toby Handfield (2010). Rational Capacities, Resolve, and Weakness of Will. Mind 119 (476):907 - 932.
    In this paper we present an account of practical rationality and weakness of will in terms of rational capacities. We show how our account rectifies various shortcomings in Michael Smith's related theory. In particular, our account is capable of accommodating cases of weak-willed behaviour that are not `akratic', or otherwise contrary to the agent's better judgement. Our account differs from Smith's primarily by incorporating resolve: a third rational capacity for resolute maintenance of one's intentions. We discuss further two ways to (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (11 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   3 citations  
  38. Patrick Corrigan (1985). Practical Reason, Aristotle, and Weakness of Will. Review of Metaphysics 39 (2):349-350.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  39. Garrett Cullity & Berys Nigel Gaut (eds.) (1997). Ethics and Practical Reason. Oxford University Press.
    These thirteen new, specially written essays by a distinguished international line-up of contributors, including some leading contemporary moral philosophers, give a rich and varied view of current work on ethics and practical reason. The three main perspectives on the topic, Kantian, Humean, and Aristotelian, are all well represented. Issues covered include: the connection between reason and motivation; the source of moral reasons and their relation to reasons of self-interest; the relation of practical reason to value, to freedom, to (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   20 citations  
  40. Norman O. Dahl (1984). Practical Reason, Aristotle, and Weakness of the Will. Univ of Minnesota Press.
    Rich with historical and cultural value, these works are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   4 citations  
  41. Jonathan Dancy (1993). Moral Reasons. Blackwell.
    This book attempts to place a realist view of ethics (the claim that there are facts of the matter in ethics as elsewhere) within a broader context. It starts with a discussion of why we should mind about the difference between right and wrong, asks what account we should give of our ability to learn from our moral experience, and looks in some detail at the different sorts of ways in which moral reasons can combine to show us what we (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   179 citations  
  42. Norman Daniels (1983). Review: Can Cognitive Psychotherapy Reconcile Reason and Desire? [REVIEW] Ethics 93 (4):772 - 785.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  43. Marc-Kevin Daoust (2015). Le désir dans l’approche contractualiste hobbesienne. In Daoust Marc-Kevin (ed.), Le désir et la philosophie. Les Cahiers D'Ithaque 97-109.
    Ce bref commentaire a trois objectifs. La première section vise à présenter au lecteur la philosophie matérialiste et atomiste de Hobbes. Dans la seconde section, nous exposons le rôle des désirs dans l’escalade du conflit entre les agents dans l’état de nature. Au terme de cette analyse, le lecteur disposera de quelques clés interprétatives pour aborder les chapitres VI et XIII du Léviathan.
    Remove from this list  
    Translate
      Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  44. Marc-Kevin Daoust (ed.) (2015). Le désir et la philosophie. Les Cahiers d'Ithaque.
    Quels désirs sont dignes de la raison ? Comment satisfaire nos désirs sans perdre le contrôle de soi ? Ce recueil offre un éclairage sur les différents aspects de ces problèmes. Nous proposons au lecteur un parcours historique, allant de Platon à Hume, sur la question du désir et sa place dans les textes fondateurs de la philosophie.
    Remove from this list  
    Translate
      Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  45. Stephen Darwall (2003). Desires, Reasons, and Causes. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2):436–443.
    Jonathan Dancy’s Practical Reality makes a significant contribution to clarifying the relationship between desire and reasons for acting, both the normative reasons we seek in deliberation and the motivating reasons we cite in explanation. About the former, Dancy argues that, not only are normative reasons not all grounded in desires, but, more radically, the fact that one desires something is never itself a normative reason. And he argues that desires fail to figure in motivating reasons also, concluding that neither the (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (9 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   6 citations  
  46. Stephen L. Darwall (2001). Because I Want It. Social Philosophy and Policy 18 (2):129-153.
    How can an agent's desire or will give him reasons for acting? Not long ago, this might have seemed a silly question, since it was widely believed that all reasons for acting are based in the agent's desires. The interesting question, it seemed, was not how what an agent wants could give him reasons, but how anything else could. In recent years, however, this earlier orthodoxy has increasingly appeared wrongheaded as a growing number of philosophers have come to stress the (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   8 citations  
  47. Stephen L. Darwall (1983). Impartial Reason. Cornell University Press.
  48. Stephen L. Darwall (1983). Reason, Judgment, and the Desire to Be Rational. Journal of Philosophy 80:652-653.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  49. Donald Davidson (2001). Essays on Actions and Events: Philosphical Essays, Volume 1. Oxford University Press Uk.
    Review from other book by this author `...these intriguing views are ingeniously argued and fruitfully provocative.' Philosophy. 'Review from previous edition 'it must be said that this is one of the most impressive works of analytical philosophy to appear for a good many years.' -Peter Strawson, Times Literary Supplement 'Review from previous edition 'it must be said that this is one of the most impressive works of analytical philosophy to appear for a good many years... The positions adopted are argued (...)
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  50. Wayne A. Davis (1997). Davidson's Conceptual Argument for Rational Cognition. Legal Theory 3 (2):205-210.
    According to Jules Coleman, Rational Choice Theory holds that human action is both intentional and rational. “The rationality of intentional action is evaluated along the two dimensions corresponding to the two elements of the belief-desire model.” On the belief-dimension, RC Theory assumes that people are “able to draw appropriate inferences from the information they possess.”.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
1 — 50 / 209