Defending desire: Scanlon's anti-humeanism

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 explanatory or justificatory task. Since the standard model represents only one understanding of desire his specific arguments cannot establish his stated general thesis. I show how a more robust conception of desire will leave the Humean account safe from Scanlon’s specific arguments
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DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2001.tb00122.x
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Attila Tanyi (2013). Silencing Desires? Philosophia 41 (3):887-903.

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