David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (3):346 – 365 (2001)
Hume said that the reasons that determine the rationality of one's actions are the desires one has when acting: one's actions are rational iff they advance these desires. Thomas Nagel says this entails calling rational, actions absurdly conflicting in aims over time. For one might have reason, in one's current desires, to begin trying to cause states one foresees having reason, in one's foreseen desires, to prevent. Instead, then, real reasons must be timeless, so that current and foreseen reasons cannot conflict. I say the desire theory does not have absurd consequences. A rational agent's desires would rationally evolve, never requiring actions conflicting in aims over time, except where it was instrumentally rational for her to change in her desires, whence such conflicts are rationally appropriate. Further, whatever sorts of things count as real reasons, since reasons can rationally require their own revision, they cannot be necessarily timeless.
|Keywords||Hume Nagel prudence preferences rationality reasons desires the desire theory|
|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
Anthony Simon Laden (2009). The Trouble with Prudence. Philosophical Explorations 12 (1):19 – 40.
Similar books and articles
Michael Smith (2007). Is There a Nexus Between Reasons and Rationality? Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 94 (1):279-298.
Chris Heathwood (2011). Desire-Based Theories of Reasons, Pleasure, and Welfare. Oxford Studies in Metaethics 6:79-106.
Alan H. Goldman (2005). Reason Internalism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (3):505 - 533.
Amy Peikoff (2003). Rational Action Entails Rational Desire: A Critical Review of Searle's Rationality in Action. Philosophical Explorations 6 (2):124 – 138.
Berislav Marušić (2010). The Desires of Others. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (3):385-400.
Stephen Darwall (2003). Desires, Reasons, and Causes. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2):436–443.
Donald C. Hubin (1991). Irrational Desires. Philosophical Studies 62 (1):23 - 44.
Duncan MacIntosh (2003). Prudence and the Temporal Structure of Practical Reasons. In Sarah Stroud & Christine Tappolet (eds.), Weakness of Will and Practical Irrationality. Oxford 230--250.
Bill Pollard (2003). Can Virtuous Actions Be Both Habitual and Rational? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 6 (4):411-425.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads62 ( #65,540 of 1,790,307 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #169,251 of 1,790,307 )
How can I increase my downloads?