David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Constantine Sandis (ed.), New Essays on the Explanation of Action. Palgrave Macmillan. 220--40 (2009)
This paper criticizes an influential argument from Thomas Nagel’s THE POSSIBILTIY OF ALTRUISM, an argument that plays a foundational role in the philosophies of (at least) Philippa Foot, John McDowell and Jonathan Dancy. Nagel purports to prove that a person can be can be motivated to perform X by the belief that X is likely to bring about Y, without a causally active or biffy desire for Y. If Cullity and Gaut are to be believed (ETHICS AND PRACTICAL REASONING) this is widely regarded within the practical reasoning industry as an established fact. My thesis is a simple one. Nagel’s argument is an abject failure and the philosophies that are founded on it are built upon sand. There is a little bit of rather amateurish X-Phi at the end, but I don’t want readers to get too excited about this as it is essentially icing on the cake. This paper is not primarily an exercise in Experimental Philosophy but in Baby Logic, and it’s central thesis is a logical one, namely that Nagel (to put the point politely) fails to prove his thesis.
|Keywords||Thomas Nagel John McDowell Philippa Foot Jonathan Dancy Moral Psychology Motivation Desire Biff Practical Reasoning|
|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
Alfred R. Mele (1992). Springs of Action: Understanding Intentional Behavior. Oxford University Press.
Michael Ridge (1998). Humean Intentions. American Philosophical Quarterly 35 (2):157-178.
Mark Risjord (2005). Reasons, Causes, and Action Explanation. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (3):294-306.
Lynne Rudder Baker (2002). Attitudes in Action: A Causal Account. Manuscrito 25 (3):47-78.
Cei Maslen (2002). A Defense of Humeanism From Nagel's Persimmon. Erkenntnis 57 (1):41-46.
G. F. Schueler (1995). Desire: Its Role in Practical Reason and the Explanation of Action. MIT Press.
Rowland Stout (2004). Internalising Practical Reasons. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104 (3):229–243.
Scott R. Sehon (2000). An Argument Against the Causal Theory of Action Explanation. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (1):67-85.
Robrecht Vanderbeeken (2004). Models of Intentional Explanation. Philosophical Explorations 7 (3):233 – 246.
Added to index2009-09-15
Total downloads57 ( #32,027 of 1,413,175 )
Recent downloads (6 months)35 ( #5,034 of 1,413,175 )
How can I increase my downloads?