David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (1):101-115 (2011)
The paper begins with a well-known objection to the idea that reasons for action are provided by desires. The objection holds that since desires are based on reasons (first premise), which they transmit but to which they cannot add (second premise), they cannot themselves provide reasons for action. In the paper I investigate an attack that has recently been launched against the first premise of the argument by David Sobel. Sobel invokes a counterexample: hedonic desires, i.e. the likings and dislikings of our present conscious states. The aim of the paper is to defend the premise by bringing the alleged counterexample under its scope. I first point out that reference to hedonic desires as a counterexample presupposes a particular understanding of pleasure, which we might call desire-based. In response, following Sobel, I draw up two alternative accounts, the phenomenological and the tracking views of pleasure. Although Sobel raises several objections to both accounts, I argue in detail that the phenomenological view is not as implausible as he claims it to be, whereas the tracking view, on its best version advocated by Thomas Scanlon, is an instance of the phenomenological view and is therefore also defensible
|Keywords||Sobel Pleasure Reasons for action Desire Scanlon|
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References found in this work BETA
G. E. M. Anscombe (1967). On the Grammar of `Enjoy'. Journal of Philosophy 64 (19):607-614.
Murat Aydede (2000). An Analysis of Pleasure Vis-a-Vis Pain. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (3):537-570.
Murat Aydede (ed.) (2005). Pain: New Essays on its Nature and the Methodology of its Study. MIT Press.
Kent C. Berridge (2009). Wanting and Liking: Observations From the Neuroscience and Psychology Laboratory. Inquiry 52 (4):378 – 398.
David Copp & David Sobel (2002). Desires, Motives, and Reasons: Scanlon's Rationalistic Moral Psychology. Social Theory and Practice 28 (2):243-76.
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