David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Mind 106 (423):451-474 (1997)
In this paper, I argue that Humean theories of moral motivation appear preferable to Kantian approaches only if one assumes a broadly foundationalist conception of rational justification. Like foundationalist approaches to justification generally, Humean psychology aims to counter the regress-of-justification argument by positing a set of ultimate regress-stoppers-in this case, unmotivated desires. If the need for regress-stoppers of this type in the realm of practical deliberation is accepted, desires do indeed appear to be the most likely candidate. But if this foundationalist strategy is rejected, there is no longer any reason to suppose that all motivation must be traceable to some extra-rational incentive. This clears the way for a rehabilitation of the Kantian claim that reasons for action can take the form of categorical imperatives. To illustrate this thesis, I show how a conception of practical rationality that incorporates a contextualist model of justification can be developed that treats social norms as reasons for action, without assigning any mediating role to agent desires. a theory of action of this type eliminates the gap between moral obligation and action, and so articulates the fundamental Kantian intuition that acting on the basis of moral principle-and with disregard for self-interest-is just one way of acting rationally.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Miles Little (2013). Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit? Medicine Rests on Solid Foundations. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 19 (3):467-470.
Similar books and articles
Neil Sinhababu (2011). The Humean Theory of Practical Irrationality. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 6 (1):1-13.
Ulrike Heuer (2004). Reasons for Actions and Desires. Philosophical Studies 121 (1):43–63.
Stephen Darwall (2003). Desires, Reasons, and Causes. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2):436–443.
Ralph Wedgwood (1998). The Fundamental Principle of Practical Reasoning. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 6 (2):189 – 209.
G. F. Schueler (1995). Desire: Its Role in Practical Reason and the Explanation of Action. MIT Press.
Alison Hills (2007). Practical Reason, Value and Action. Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (3):375-392.
Patrick Yarnell (2002). Humean Instrumentalism and the Motivational Capacity of Reason. Journal of Philosophical Research 27:499-509.
Rowland Stout (2004). Internalising Practical Reasons. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104 (3):229–243.
Melissa Barry (2007). Realism, Rational Action, and the Humean Theory of Motivation. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (3):231-242.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads70 ( #30,398 of 1,696,808 )
Recent downloads (6 months)14 ( #43,770 of 1,696,808 )
How can I increase my downloads?