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Summary The central question about desire and reason concerns the extent to which our reasons to act depend on our desires. According to ‘desire-based’ or ‘Humean’ theories of reasons, all of our reasons to act depend on our desires. On a simple version of such a theory, we have reason to do only what would serve one of our present desires. Many philosophers have found such theories attractive, insofar as they connect our reasons with our motivations, or insofar as they seem to make metaphysical and epistemological questions about reasons more tractable. But many other philosophers have found such theories unattractive, often on the grounds that they seem to threaten the rational authority of morality.
Key works A great deal of the recent literature has focused on Bernard Williams’ defence of his ‘internal reasons’ theory, a version of the desire-based theory, in his Williams 1979. Some central contributions to the literature on Williams’ view are Korsgaard 1986McDowell 1995, and Parfit 1997. There is also a lot of recent literature arguing against desire-based theories of reasons. See, for instance, Darwall 1983, Korsgaard 1997, Nagel 1970Scanlon 1998Parfit 2011. For a recent defence of a desire-based theory, see Schroeder 2007.
Introductions Finlay & Schroeder 2008Wiland 2012: ch.2
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  1. Addictive Desires and Reasons-Responsiveness.Federico Burdman - manuscript
    In this paper, I look into one of the particular ways in which decreased reasons-responsiveness in addiction may come about, by focusing on certain anomalous features of addictive desires. The account I offer centers on two prominent features of these desires: the recalcitrance of standing or long-term dispositional addictive desires to use drugs in the face of contrary considerations, and the recurrent, intrusive nature of episodes of occurrently wanting to use drugs that addicted agents experience. Both the recalcitrance and the (...)
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  2. How Do You Like Me Now?Gerald Hull - manuscript
    These reflections are an attempt to get to the heart of the "reason is the slave of the passions" debate. The whole point of deliberation is to arrive at a choice. What factors persons find to be choice-relevant is a purely empirical matter. This has significant consequences for the views of Hume, Williams, Nagel, Parfit and Korsgaard regarding practical reason.
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  3. Chapter 3: The Teleological Conception of Practical Reasons.Douglas W. Portmore - manuscript
    This is Chapter 3 of my Commonsense Consequentialism: Wherein Morality Meets Rationality. In this chapter, I defend the teleological conception of practical reasons, which holds that the reasons there are for and against performing a given act are wholly determined by the reasons there are for and against preferring its outcome to those of its available alternatives, such that, if S has most reason to perform x, all things considered, then, of all the outcomes that S could bring about, S (...)
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  4. Desires Without Guises: Why We Need Not Value What We Want.Sabine Döring & Bahadir Eker - forthcoming - In Julien Deonna & Federico Lauria (eds.), The Nature of Desire. Oxford University Press.
    Evaluativism about desire, the view that desires just are, or necessarily involve, positive evaluations of their objects, currently enjoys widespread popularity in many philosophical circles. This chapter argues that evaluativism, in both of its doxastic and perceptual versions, overstates and mischaracterises the connection between desires and evaluations. Whereas doxastic evaluativism implausibly rules out cases where someone has a desire, despite evaluating its object negatively, being uncertain about its value, or having no doxastic attitude whatsoever towards its evaluative status at all, (...)
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  5. The Unity of Normative Thought.Jeremy David Fix - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Practical cognitivism is the view that practical reason is our will, not an intellectual capacity whose exercises can influence those of our will. If practical reason is our will, thoughts about how I am to act have an essential tie to action. They are intentions. Thoughts about how others are to act, though, lack such a tie to action. They are beliefs, not intentions. How, then, can these thoughts form a unified class? I reject two answers which deny the differences (...)
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  6. The Indeterminacy of Desire and Practical Reason.Patrick Fleming - forthcoming - In David K. Chan (ed.), Moral Psychology Today: Essays on Values, Rational Choice, and the Will. Springer: Philosophical Studies Series.
    Bernard Williams has famously argued that all reasons for action are internal reasons.1 The internalist requirement on reasons is that all reasons must be linked to the agent’s subjective motivational state by a sound deliberative route. This argument has been the subject of a great deal of debate. In this paper I wish to draw attention to a much less discussed aspect of Williams’ papers on internalism. Williams believes that there is an essential indeterminacy regarding what an agent has a (...)
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  7. Desire as Belief: A Study of Desire, Motivation, and Rationality.Alex Gregory - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
    What is it to want something? Or, as philosophers might ask, what is a desire? This book defends “desire-as-belief”, the view that desires are just a special subset of our beliefs: normative beliefs. This view entitles us to accept orthodox models of human motivation and rationality that explain those things with reference to desire, but nonetheless to also make room for our normative beliefs to play a role in those domains. And this view tells us to diverge from the orthodox (...)
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  8. Hume on Practical Reason: Against the Normative Authority of Reason.Karl Schafer - forthcoming - In Paul Russell (ed.), Oxford Handbook of David Hume. Oxford University Press.
    In broad outlines, the first of these claims that beliefs and other cognitive states, on their own, can never motivate a new desire, intention, or action. Rather, on this view, what motivates us to desire, intend, or act is always the cooperation of some desire (or other conative state) with such cognitive states. Thus, on HTM, practical motivation is always the product of two fundamentally distinct categories of mental states operating in conjunction with one another.
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  9. Desire and What It’s Rational to Do.Ashley Shaw - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-15.
    It is often taken for granted that our desires can contribute to what it is rational for us to do. This paper examines an account of desire—the ‘guise of the good’— that promises an explanation of this datum. I argue that extant guise-of-the-good accounts fail to provide an adequate explanation of how a class of desires—basic desires— contributes to practical rationality. I develop an alternative guise-of-the-good account on which basic desires attune us to our reasons for action in virtue of (...)
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  10. A formação da subjetividade moral no pensamento de Michel Foucault.Bruno Camilo de Oliveira - 2021 - Journal Cajuína 6 (1):11-22.
    The objective of this work is to present Michel Foucault's perspective on the formation of moral subjectivity according to his text entitled “The use of pleasures and the techniques of self”. In the referred text, Foucault emphasizes that moral action should not be constituted in acts according to a rule of conduct supported by moral concepts, but in acts according to a pure relation of the subject with his internal wisdom (subjectivity), a relationship that should not be understood as simply (...)
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  11. Do We Love For Reasons?Yongming Han - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (1):106-126.
    Do we love for reasons? It can seem as if we do, since most cases of non‐familial love seem *selective*: coming to love a non‐family‐member often begins with our being drawn to them for what they are like. I argue, however, that we can vindicate love's selectivity, even if we maintain that there are no reasons for love; indeed, that gives us a simpler, and hence better, explanation of love's selectivity. We don't, in short, come to love *for* reasons. That (...)
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  12. Belief, Faith, and Hope: On the Rationality of Long-Term Commitment.Elizabeth Jackson - 2021 - Mind 130 (517):35–57.
    I examine three attitudes: belief, faith, and hope. I argue that all three attitudes play the same role in rationalizing action. First, I explain two models of rational action—the decision-theory model and the belief-desire model. Both models entail there are two components of rational action: an epistemic component and a conative component. Then, using this framework, I show how belief, faith, and hope that p can all make it rational to accept, or act as if, p. I conclude by showing (...)
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  13. Misinformation, Subjectivism, and the Rational Criticizability of Desire.Jay Jian - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):845-866.
    Orthodox Humeans about normative reasons for action believe that there are no rational principles governing the substantive content of desire. But they also believe that desires with misinformed content should be rejected and cannot be the proper subjective sources of normative reasons for action. These two ideas, I argue, in fact stand in tension with each other: The Humean rejection of misinformed desire actually has to invoke a feasibility principle for desire, a semi-substantive rational principle that is already built into (...)
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  14. Do Affective Desires Provide Reasons for Action?Ashley Shaw - 2021 - Ratio 34 (2):1-11.
    This paper evaluates the claim that some desires provide reasons in virtue of their connection with conscious affective experiences like feelings of attraction or aversion. I clarify the nature of affective desires and several distinct ways in which affective desires might provide reasons. Against accounts proposed by Ruth Chang, Declan Smithies and Jeremy Weiss, I motivate doubts that it is the phenomenology of affective experiences that explains their normative or rational significance. I outline an alternative approach that centralises the function (...)
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  15. The Political Animal in Medieval Philosophy. A Philosophical Study of the Commentary Tradition C. 1260-1410.Juhana Toivanen - 2021 - Leiden, Netherlands: Brill.
    In The Political Animal in Medieval Philosophy Juhana Toivanen investigates what medieval philosophers meant when they argued that human beings are political animals by nature. He analyses the notion of ‘political animal’ from various perspectives and shows its relevance to philosophical discussions concerning the foundations of human sociability, ethics, and politics. -/- Medieval authors thought that social life stems from the biological and rational nature of human beings, and that collaboration with other people promotes prosperity and good life. Toivanen provides (...)
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  16. Love, Reasons, and Desire.Nicholas Drake - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (3):591-605.
    This essay defends subjectivism about reasons of love. These are the normative reasons we have to treat those we love especially well, such as the reasons we have to treat our close friends or life partners better than strangers. Subjectivism about reasons of love is the view that every reason of love a person has is correctly explained by her desires. I formulate a version of subjectivism about reasons of love and defend it against three objections that have been made (...)
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  17. Getting what you want.Lyndal Grant & Milo Phillips-Brown - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):1791-1810.
    It is commonly accepted that if an agent wants p, then she has a desire that is satisfied in exactly the worlds where p is true. Call this the ‘Satisfaction-is-Truth Principle’. We argue that this principle is false: an agent may want p without having a desire that is satisfied when p obtains in any old way. For example, Millie wants to drink milk but does not have a desire that is satisfied when she drinks spoiled milk. Millie has a (...)
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  18. Reasons Internalism, Cooperation, and Law.Olof Leffler - 2020 - In Miguel Garcia-Godinez, Rachael Mellin & Raimo Tuomela (eds.), Social Ontology, Normativity and Law. Berlin: pp. 115-132.
    Argues that reasons internalism, suitably understood, explains categorical reasons for us to cooperate with each other. The norms we then cooperate to satisfy can lie at the heart of legal systems, yielding unexpected implications in the philosophy of law.
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  19. Future Desires, the Agony Argument, and Subjectivism About Reasons.Eden Lin - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (1):95-130.
    Extant discussions of subjectivism about reasons for action have concentrated on presentist versions of the theory, on which reasons for present actions are grounded in present desires. In this article, I motivate and investigate the prospects of futurist subjectivism, on which reasons for present actions are grounded in present or future desires. Futurist subjectivism promises to answer Parfit's Agony Argument, and it is motivated by natural extensions of some of the considerations that support subjectivism in general. However, it faces a (...)
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  20. Reasons Not to Consider Our Options.Jeffrey Seidman - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (3):353-371.
    I argue that a practical deliberator may have good reasons not to consider some option even though that option is what there is most reason, all things considered, for her to do. The most interesting reasons not to consider an option arise in cases where an agent cannot be compensated in kind for the loss of goods that she values. Where this is the case, an attitude of conservatism is warranted: it is reasonable to begin deliberation by considering only ‘no-regrets’ (...)
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  21. The Stoics on the Education of Desire.Daniel Vazquez - 2020 - In Magdalena Bosch (ed.), Desire and Human Flourishing. pp. 213-228.
    The ancient Stoics proposed one of the most sophisticated and influential ethical frameworks in the history of philosophy. Its impact on theory and practice lasted for centuries during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Today, their arguments and theories still inform many contemporary ethical debates. Moreover, some of the framework’s main tenets have been used as a theoretical foundation for cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT), a widely used psychosocial intervention for improving mental health. Much of its lasting impact is the result of the (...)
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  22. The Guise of the Good and the Problem of Partiality.Allan Hazlett - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (6):851-872.
    According to the guise of the good thesis, we desire things under the ‘guise of the good.’ Here I sympathetically articulate a generic formulation of the guise of the good thesis, and addre...
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  23. Ruly and Unruly Passions: Early Modern Perspectives.Elizabeth S. Radcliffe - 2019 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 85:21-38.
    A survey of theories on the passions and action in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Britain and western Europe reveals that few, if any, of the major writers held the view that reason in any of its functions executes action without a passion. Even rationalists, like Cambridge Platonist Ralph Cudworth and English clergyman Samuel Clarke, recognized the necessity of passion to action. On the other hand, many of these intellectuals also agreed with French philosophers Jean-François Senault, René Descartes, and Nicolas Malebranche that, (...)
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  24. Promotion as Contrastive Increase in Expected Fit.Nathaniel Sharadin & Finnur Dellsén - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1263-1290.
    What is required for an action to promote the satisfaction of a desire? We reject extant answers and propose an alternative. Our account differs from competing answers in two ways: first, it is contrastive, in that actions promote the satisfaction of desires only as contrasted with other possible actions. Second, it employs a notion of expected fit between desire and world, defined as the weighted sum of the fit between the desire and the world in all possible outcomes, where each (...)
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  25. Affective Experience, Desire, and Reasons for Action.Declan Smithies & Jeremy Weiss - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (1):27-54.
    What is the role of affective experience in explaining how our desires provide us with reasons for action? When we desire that p, we are thereby disposed to feel attracted to the prospect that p, or to feel averse to the prospect that not-p. In this paper, we argue that affective experiences – including feelings of attraction and aversion – provide us with reasons for action in virtue of their phenomenal character. Moreover, we argue that desires provide us with reasons (...)
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  26. Active Desire.Uku Tooming - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (6):945-968.
    Desire is commonly understood as a mental state in relation to which we are passive. Since it seems to arise in us spontaneously, without antecedent deliberation, it also seems to constitute a paradigmatic type of mental state which is not up to us. In this paper, I will contest this idea. I will defend a view according to which we can actively shape our desires by controlling the way in which we imagine their contents. This view is supported both by (...)
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  27. Under the Guise of the Good: Kant and a Tenet of Moral Rationalism.Stefano Bacin - 2018 - In Violetta L. Waibel, Margit Ruffing & David Wagner (eds.), Natur und Freiheit: Akten des XII. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses. de Gruyter. pp. 1705-1714.
    Both in historical debates and in recent discussions, the Guise of the Good Thesis represents a genuine dogma of rationalism in moral philosophy. Many influential commentators have maintained that Kant belongs in that camp, even that he “explicitly endorses” the Thesis. Attributing the Thesis to Kant, however, faces scarce textual support and amounts to a dubious understanding of the relationship of Kant’s moral philosophy to previous rationalist views. I suggest that, in Kant’s view, the Thesis only applies to the determination (...)
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  28. Intelligibility and the Guise of the Good.Paul Boswell - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (1):1-31.
    According to the Guise of the Good, an agent only does for a reason what she sees as good. One of the main motivations for the view is its apparent ability to explain why action for a reason must be intelligible to its agent, for on this view, an action is intelligible just in case it seems good. This motivation has come under criticism in recent years. Most notably, Kieran Setiya has argued that merely seeing one’s action as good does (...)
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  29. A Dilemma for Non‐Analytic Naturalism.Andrew T. Forcehimes - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (2):228-247.
    In recent years, an impressive research program has developed around non-analytic reductions of the normative. Nevertheless, non-analytic naturalists face a damning dilemma: either they need to give the same reductive analysis for epistemic and practical reasons, or they can give a different analyses by treating epistemic and practical reasons as a species of the larger genus, reasonhood. Since, for example, a desire-based account of epistemic reasons is implausible, the reductionist must opt for the latter. Yet, if the desire-based account of (...)
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  30. Why Do Desires Rationalize Actions?Alex Gregory - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5.
    I begin the paper by outlining one classic argument for the guise of the good: that we must think that desires represent their objects favourably in order to explain why they can make actions rational (Quinn 1995; Stampe 1987). But what exactly is the conclusion of this argument? Many have recently formulated the guise of the good as the view that desires are akin to perceptual appearances of the good (Oddie 2005; Stampe 1987; Tenenbaum 2007). But I argue that this (...)
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  31. The Self-Determination of Force: Desire and Practical Self-Consciousness in Kant and Hegel.Thomas Khurana - 2018 - In Sally Sedgwick & Dina Emundts (eds.), Begehren / Desire. Berlin/New York: De Gruyter. pp. 179-204.
    In a broadly Kantian context, it is often assumed that practical self-consciousness and rational self-determination can only be understood in opposition to pleasure and desire. I argue instead that, already for Kant, rational self-determination is itself a determination of our faculty of desire. Drawing on resources from Kant and Hegel, the paper shows that sensible desire can be understood as a self-determination of our vital forces which is connected to a sensible awareness of our practical existence. In order to constitute (...)
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  32. Exercícios Filosóficos em Epicteto.Diogo Luz - 2018 - Intuitio 11 (2):17-33.
    O presente artigo trata do pensamento de Epicteto pelo viés do exercício (áskēsis), ou seja, por meio de práticas que conduzem ao aperfeiçoamento de quem elege para si o ofício de filósofo. Para tal, inicialmente esclarecemos o que significam os exercícios na filosofia antiga, tendo como subsídio as teses de Pierre Hadot. Logo depois, exploramos seis exercícios que consideramos centrais para o filósofo de Nicópolis, contextualizando com os ensinamentos que estão envolvidos e descrevendo as principais características de seu método. Por (...)
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  33. Hume, Passion, and Action.Elizabeth S. Radcliffe - 2018 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    David Hume’s theory of action is well known for several provocative theses, including that passion and reason cannot be opposed over the direction of action. In Hume, Passion, and Action, the author defends an original interpretation of Hume’s views on passion, reason and motivation that is consistent with other theses in Hume’s philosophy, loyal to his texts, and historically situated. This book challenges the now orthodox interpretation of Hume on motivation, presenting an alternative that situates Hume closer to “Humeans” than (...)
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  34. The Evolutionary Explanation: The Limits of the Desire Theories of Unpleasantness,.Abraham Sapien - 2018 - Contrastes: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 23 (3):121-140.
    Several theorists have defended that unpleasantness can be explained by appealing to (intrinsic, simultaneous, de re) desires for certain experiences not to be occurring. In a nutshell, experiences are unpleasant because we do not want them, and not vice versa. A common criticism for this approach takes the form of a Euthyphro dilemma. Even if there is a solution for this criticism, I argue that this type of approach is limited in two important ways. It cannot provide an explanation for: (...)
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  35. The Unpleasantness of Pain.Abraham Sapien - 2018 - Dissertation,
    In this thesis I provide an account of the unpleasantness of pain. In doing this, I shed light on the nature of pain and unpleasantness. I propose to understand the unpleasantness of pain based on the determinable-determinate distinction. Unpleasantness is a determinable phenomenal property of mental states that entails badness. I propose that an unpleasant pain experience has two phenomenal properties: i) the phenomenal property of being a pain, and ii) a phenomenal determinate property (u1, u2, u3, etc.) of the (...)
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  36. Humean Nature: How Desire Explains Action, Thought, and Feeling, by Neil Sinhababu.Karl Schafer - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):919-928.
    Humean Nature: How Desire Explains Action, Thought, and Feeling, by Neil Sinhababu. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp. ix + 224.
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  37. Towards an Ecumenical Theory of Normative Reasons.Caj Sixten Strandberg - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (1):69-100.
    A theory of normative reasons for action faces the fundamental challenge of accounting for the dual nature of reasons. On the one hand, some reasons appear to depend on, and vary with, desires. On the other hand, some reasons appear categorical in the sense of being desire‐independent. However, it has turned out to be difficult to provide a theory that accommodates both these aspects. Internalism is able to account for the former aspect, but has difficulties to account for the latter, (...)
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  38. Eliminating Prudential Reasons.Alex Worsnip - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 8:236-257.
    I argue, contrary to the consensus of most contemporary work in ethics, that there are no (fundamentally, distinctively) prudential reasons for action. That is to say: there is no class of reasons for action that is distinctively and fundamentally about the promotion of the agent’s own well-being. Considerations to do with the agent’s well-being can supply the agent with reasons only in virtue of her well-being mattering morally or in virtue of her caring about her own well-being. In both of (...)
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  39. The Verdictive Organization of Desire.Derek Clayton Baker - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (5):589-612.
    Deliberation often begins with the question ‘What do I want to do?’ rather than the question of what one ought to do. This paper takes that question at face value, as a question about which of one’s desires is strongest, which sometimes guides action. The paper aims to explain which properties of a desire make that desire strong, in the sense of ‘strength’ relevant to this deliberative question. Both motivational force and phenomenological intensity seem relevant to a desire’s strength; however, (...)
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  40. Might Desires Be Beliefs About Normative Reasons?Alex Gregory - 2017 - In Julien Deonna & Federico Lauria (eds.), The Nature of Desire. Oxford University Press. pp. 201-217.
    This paper examines the view that desires are beliefs about normative reasons for action. It describes the view, and briefly sketches three arguments for it. But the focus of the paper is defending the view from objections. The paper argues that the view is consistent with the distinction between the direction of fit of beliefs and desires, that it is consistent with the existence of appetites such as hunger, that it can account for counterexamples that aim to show that beliefs (...)
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  41. Are All Normative Judgments Desire-Like?Alex Gregory - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12 (1):29-55.
    In this paper I first argue against one attractive formulation of the motivation argument, and against one attractive formulation of noncognitivism. I do so by example: I suggest that other-regarding normative judgments do not seem to have motivational powers and do not seem to be desires. After defending these two claims, I argue that other views can accommodate the motivational role of normative judgment without facing this objection. For example, desire-as-belief theories do so, since such theories only say that some (...)
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  42. Practical Reason, Sympathy and Reactive Attitudes.Max Khan Hayward - 2017 - Noûs:51-75.
    This paper has three aims. First, I defend, in its most radical form, Hume's scepticism about practical reason, as it applies to purely self-regarding matters. It's not always irrational to discount the future, to be inconstant in one's preferences, to have incompatible desires, to not pursue the means to one's ends, or to fail to maximize one's own good. Second, I explain how our response to the “irrational” agent should be understood as an expression of frustrated sympathy, in Adam Smith's (...)
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  43. Désir (Avancé).Federico Lauria - 2017 - Encyclopédie Philosophique.
    Les désirs sont centraux pour agir et être heureux. Qu’est-ce qu’un désir ? En quoi les désirs sont-ils importants ? Dans cette entrée, nous tenterons de mettre les mots sur cette expérience si familière et pourtant négligée par la philosophie contemporaine. (1) En guise de préliminaires, nous délimiterons notre objet d’étude à la lumière des principales distinctions entre les désirs et d’autres états mentaux tels que les croyances et intentions, ainsi qu’à l’aide des distinctions classiques parmi les désirs. (2) Notre (...)
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  44. Introduction. Reconsidering Some Dogmas About Desire.Federico Lauria & Julien Deonna - 2017 - In Federico Lauria & Julien Deonna (eds.), The Nature of Desire. New York: Oxford University Press.
    Desire has not been at the center of recent preoccupations in the philosophy of mind. Consequently, the literature settled into several dogmas. The first part of this introduction presents these dogmas and invites readers to scrutinize them. The main dogma is that desires are motivational states. This approach contrasts with the other dominant conception: desires are positive evaluations. But there are at least four other dogmas: the world should conform to our desires (world-to-mind direction of fit), desires involve a positive (...)
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  45. Self‐Knowledge and the Guise of the Good.Amir Saemi - 2017 - Analytic Philosophy 58 (3):272-281.
    According to the Doctrine of the Guise of the Good, actions are taken to be good by their agents. Kieran Setiya, however, has formulated a new objection to the DGG based on the distinction between the notions of normative reasons and motivating reasons. Only the latter, Setiya claims, is required for intentional agency. However, I will argue that Setiya’s objection fails because it rests on the implausible assumption that motivating reasons are determined solely in terms of the content of the (...)
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  46. Humean Nature.Neil Sinhababu - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This book defends the Humean Theory of Motivation, according to which desire drives all action and practical reasoning. -/- Desire motivates us to pursue its object. It makes thoughts of its object pleasant. It focuses attention on its object. Its effects are amplified by vivid representations of its object. These aspects of desire explain why motivation usually accompanies moral belief, how intentions shape our plans, how we exercise willpower, what human selves are, how action can express emotion, why we procrastinate, (...)
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  47. A Puzzle About Reasons and Rationality.Caj Strandberg - 2017 - The Journal of Ethics 21 (1):63-88.
    According to a guiding idea in metaethics, there is a necessary link between the concept of normative reasons and the concept of practical rationality. This notion brings up two issues: The exact nature of this link, and the nature of rationality. With regard to the first issue, the debate is dominated by a certain standard claim. With regard to the second issue, the debate is dominated by what I will refer to as ‘subjectivism’ and ‘objectivism’ about rationality, where the latter (...)
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  48. Circularity, Naturalism, and Desire-Based Reasons.Attila Tanyi - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (4):451-470.
    In this paper, I propose a critique of the naturalist version of the Desire-Based Reasons Model. I first set the scene by spelling out the connection between naturalism and the Model. After this, I introduce Christine Korsgaard’s circularity argument against what she calls the instrumental principle. Since Korsgaard’s targets, officially, were non-naturalist advocates of the principle, I show why and how the circularity charge can be extended to cover the naturalist Model. Once this is done, I go on to investigate (...)
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  49. Do Desires Provide Reasons? An Argument Against the Cognitivist Strategy.Avery Archer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (8):2011-2027.
    According to the cognitivist strategy, the desire to bring about P provides reasons for intending to bring about P in a way analogous to how perceiving that P provides reasons for believing that P. However, while perceiving P provides reasons for believing P by representing P as true, desiring to bring about P provides reasons for intending to bring about P by representing P as good. This paper offers an argument against this view. My argument proceeds via an appeal to (...)
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  50. Probabilistic Promotion Revisited.Jeff Behrends & Joshua DiPaolo - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1735-1754.
    Promotion is the relation between an act and a desire that obtains when the act advances or serves the desire. Under what conditions does an act promote a desire? Probabilistic accounts of promotion, the most prominent accounts, analyze promotion in terms of an increase in the probability of the desire’s satisfaction. In this paper, we clarify the promotion relation and explain why probabilistic accounts are attractive. Then we identify two questions probabilistic accounts must answer: the Baseline Question and the Interpretation (...)
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