David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Philosophical Research 30:357-370 (2005)
In this paper I will argue against the Humean theory of motivation, or “conativism” which claims that all actions are ultimately generated by desires. Conativism is supported by (1) a behavioral analysis of desire as a disposition to act in certain ways, and (2) the difference between belief and desire in terms of their different “direction of fi t” with the world. I will show that this behavioral account of desire cannot provide an adequate explanation of action. Mere disposition to act (what I call “wanting”) does not explain why the agent acts; insofar as it explains the action desire is a feeling. I will then argue against the direction of fit argument by showing that beliefs about what we ought to do have both directions of fit—the belief has one direction of fit, and the content of the belief (the ought-clause) has the opposite direction of fit
|Keywords||Action Belief Desire Metaphysics Motivation Hume, David|
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
David Sobel & David Copp (2001). Against Direction of Fit Accounts of Belief and Desire. Analysis 61 (1):44-53.
Richard Bradley & Christian List (2009). Desire-as-Belief Revisited. Analysis 69 (1):31-37.
G. F. Schueler (1995). Desire: Its Role in Practical Reason and the Explanation of Action. MIT Press.
Greg Sherkoske (2010). Direction of Fit Accounts of Belief and Desire Revisited. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 10 (1):1-11.
Christopher G. Framarin (2008). Motivation-Encompassing Attitudes. Philosophical Explorations 11 (2):121 – 130.
Mary Clayton Coleman (2008). Directions of Fit and the Humean Theory of Motivation. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (1):127 – 139.
James Lenman (1996). Belief, Desire and Motivation: An Essay in Quasi-Hydraulics. American Philosophical Quarterly 33 (3):291-301.
John Milliken (2008). In a Fitter Direction: Moving Beyond the Direction of Fit Picture of Belief and Desire. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (5):563 - 571.
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 downloads49 ( #38,991 of 1,410,162 )
Recent downloads (6 months)10 ( #21,463 of 1,410,162 )
How can I increase my downloads?