David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Noûs 42 (2):222–266 (2008)
The Humean theory of motivation remains the default position in much of the contemporary literature in meta-ethics, moral psychology, and action theory. Yet despite its widespread support, the theory is implausible as a view about what motivates agents to act. More specifically, my reasons for dissatisfaction with the Humean theory stem from its incompatibility with what I take to be a compelling model of the role of motivating reasons in first-person practical deliberation and third-person action explanations. So after first introducing some assumptions about the nature of agency in section one, I will turn to articulating and defending this account of motivating reasons in sections two through four of the paper. Section five then provides some background on the Humean theory before I argue directly against it in section six and critically examine the leading arguments for the view in section seven. Given limitations of space, however, I save the task of developing a positive anti-Humean view for another occasion.
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Jerry A. Fodor (1987). Psychosemantics: The Problem of Meaning in the Philosophy of Mind. MIT Press.
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Russ Shafer-Landau (2003/2005). Moral Realism: A Defence. Oxford University Press.
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Harry G. Frankfurt (1988). The Importance of What We Care About: Philosophical Essays. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
John Turri (2009). The Ontology of Epistemic Reasons. Noûs 43 (3):490-512.
Christian Miller (2013). Identifying with Our Desires. Theoria 79 (2):127-154.
Christian Miller (2008). Motivational Internalism. Philosophical Studies 139 (2):233 - 255.
Kieran Setiya (2011). Reasons and Causes. European Journal of Philosophy 19 (1):129-157.
Graham Hubbs (2013). Alief and Explanation. Metaphilosophy 44 (5):604-620.
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