Prospects for a naturalization of practical reason: Humean instrumentalism and the normative authority of desire

Abstract
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 versions of instrumentalism that are among the most plausible contenders to represent instrumentalism as a contemporary naturalistic position. It first offers a taxonomy of reasons for action and, in that light, formulates a plausible version of instrumentalism. It then raises difficulties for the view, some of them concerning the nature of desire. It also develops an epistemologically significant comparison of desires with beliefs. Given the magnitude of the difficulties, it outlines an alternative account of practical reason.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2009-01-28

    Total downloads

    61 ( #20,733 of 1,089,157 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,735 of 1,089,157 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.