Michael A. Smith

The strength of the motivation it is rational to have in the light of an evaluative judgement covaries independently with both certitude and importance in ways which, Smith argues, his own cognitivist theory of evaluative judgement is well placed to explain. Not so for noncognitivism which identifies evaluations with desires (very broadly construed). Desires can vary in strength both relative to each other and over time: this does not seem like enough structure to accommodate all three structural features that evaluative judgements have. Suppose more structure is imported by saying that valuing something is a matter of desiring to desire it. We might then identify certitude with the strength of the second order desire and importance with the strength of the desired first-order desire. But this assignment seems arbitrary. Why is it superior to the converse assignment? There seems to be no reason. Moreover this picture contradicts commonsense. For strong second-order desires are apt always to defeat weak second-order desires whatever the relative strength of the desired desires (desired desires as such are just intentional objects and pull no motivational weight). Whereas commonsense informs us that, where our motivation is concerned, sometimes great confidence of minor importance trumps faint confidence of great importance and sometimes faint confidence of great importance trumps great confidence of minor importance. Noncognitivism is thus, Smith concludes, ill-suited to capture both the structure evaluative judgements enjoy and the motivational significance of this structure.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 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 Translate to english
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,660
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

26 ( #162,420 of 1,938,829 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #459,264 of 1,938,829 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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