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Facts and values

Philosophical Topics 14 (2):5-31 (1986)

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  1. Empathy as the Opposite of Egocentrism: Why the Simulation Theory and the Direct Perception Theory of Empathy Fail.Robert Blanchet - forthcoming - Topoi:1-9.
    This paper presents a new, third-personal account of empathy that characterizes empathy as being sensitive to others’ concerns as opposed to remaining stuck in one’s egocentric perspective on the world. The paper also demonstrates why this account is preferable to its two main rivals, namely the simulation theory of empathy, and the direct perception theory of empathy.
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  • Why Subjectivists About Welfare Needn't Idealize.Eden Lin - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (1):2-23.
    It is commonly thought that subjectivists about welfare must claim that the favorable attitudes whose satisfaction is relevant to your well-being are those that you would have in idealized conditions (e.g. ones in which you are fully informed and rational). I argue that this is false. I introduce a non-idealizing subjectivist view, Same World Subjectivism, that accommodates the two main rationales for idealizing: those given by Peter Railton and David Sobel. I also explain why a recent argument from Dale Dorsey (...)
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  • Which Desires Are Relevant to Well‐Being?Chris Heathwood - forthcoming - Noûs.
    The desire-satisfaction theory of well-being says, in its simplest form, that a person's level of welfare is determined by the extent to which their desires are satisfied. A question faced by anyone attracted to such a view is, Which desires? This paper proposes a new answer to this question by characterizing a distinction among desires that isn't much discussed in the well-being literature. This is the distinction between what a person wants in a merely behavioral sense, in that the person (...)
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  • Attitudinal and Phenomenological Theories of Pleasure.Eden Lin - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    On phenomenological theories of pleasure, what makes an experience a pleasure is the way it feels. On attitudinal theories, what makes an experience a pleasure is its relationship to the favorable attitudes of the subject who is having it. I advance the debate between these theories in two ways. First, I argue that the main objection to phenomenological theories, the heterogeneity problem, is not compelling. While others have argued for this before, I identify an especially serious version of this problem (...)
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  • Deformed Desires and Informed Desire Tests.Anita Superson - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (4):109-126.
  • Alienation, Quality of Life, and DBS for Depression.Peter Zuk, Amy L. McGuire & Gabriel Lázaro-Muñoz - 2018 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 9 (4):223-225.
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  • Understanding What’s Good for Us.Michael J. Zimmerman - 2009 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (4):429 - 439.
    The ancient question of what a good life consists in is currently the focus of intense debate. There are two aspects to this debate: the first concerns how the concept of a good life is to be understood; the second concerns what kinds of life fall within the extension of this concept. In this paper, I will attend only to the first, conceptual aspect and not to the second, substantive aspect. More precisely, I will address the preliminary, underlying question of (...)
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  • VIII-An Argument Against Motivational Internalism.Elinor Mason - 2008 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1part2):135-156.
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  • Experienced Utility or Decision Utility for QALY Calculation? Both.Paige A. Clayton & Douglas P. MacKay - 2018 - Public Health Ethics 11 (1):82-89.
    Policy-makers must allocate scarce resources to support constituents’ health needs. This requires policy-makers to be able to evaluate health states and allocate resources according to some principle of allocation. The most prominent approach to evaluating health states is to appeal to the strength of people’s preferences to avoid occupying them, which we refer to as decision utility metrics. Another approach, experienced utility metrics, evaluates health states based on their hedonic quality. In this article, we argue that although decision utility metrics (...)
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  • Why Tolerate Conscience?François Boucher & Cécile Laborde - 2016 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 10 (3):493-514.
    In Why Tolerate Religion?, Brian Leiter argues against the special legal status of religion, claiming that religion should not be the only ground for exemptions to the law and that this form of protection should be, in principle, available for the claims of secular conscience as well. However, in the last chapter of his book, he objects to a universal regime of exemptions for both religious and secular claims of conscience, highlighting the practical and moral flaws associated with it. We (...)
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  • Why Tolerate Conscience?François Boucher & Cécile Laborde - forthcoming - Criminal Law and Philosophy:1-21.
    In Why Tolerate Religion?, Brian Leiter argues against the special legal status of religion, claiming that religion should not be the only ground for exemptions to the law and that this form of protection should be, in principle, available for the claims of secular conscience as well. However, in the last chapter of his book, he objects to a universal regime of exemptions for both religious and secular claims of conscience, highlighting the practical and moral flaws associated with it. We (...)
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  • The Story of a Life*: Connie S. Rosati.Connie S. Rosati - 2013 - Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):21-50.
    This essay explores the nature of narrative representations of individual lives and the connection between these narratives and personal good. It poses the challenge of determining how thinking of our lives in story form contributes distinctively to our good in a way not reducible to other value-conferring features of our lives. Because we can meaningfully talk about our lives going well for us at particular moments even if they fail to go well overall or over time, the essay maintains that (...)
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  • Are Measures of Well-Being Philosophically Adequate?Willem van der Deijl - 2017 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 47 (3):209-234.
    The concept of well-being is increasingly gaining acceptance as an object of science, and many different types of well-being measures have been developed. A debate has emerged about which measures are able to capture well-being successfully. An important underlying problem is that there is no unified conceptual framework about the nature of well-being—a hotly debated topic of philosophical discussion. I argue that while there is little agreement about the nature of well-being in philosophy, there is an important agreement on some (...)
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  • The Predication Thesis and a New Problem About Persistent Fundamental Legal Controversies.Kevin Toh - 2010 - Utilitas 22 (3):331-350.
    According to a widely held view, people's commitments to laws are dependent on the existence in their community of a conventional practice of complying with certain fundamental laws. This conventionalism has significantly hampered our attempts to explain the normative practice of law. Ronald Dworkin has argued against conventionalism by bringing up the phenomenon of persistent fundamental legal controversies, but neither Dworkin nor his legal positivist respondents have correctly understood the real significance of such controversies. This article argues that such controversies (...)
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  • 'Knowledge' as a Natural Kind Term.Victor Kumar - 2014 - Synthese 191 (3):439-457.
    Naturalists who conceive of knowledge as a natural kind are led to treat ‘knowledge’ as a natural kind term. ‘Knowledge,’ then, must behave semantically in the ways that seem to support a direct reference theory for other natural kind terms. A direct reference theory for ‘knowledge,’ however, appears to leave open too many possibilities about the identity of knowledge. Intuitively, states of belief count as knowledge only if they meet epistemic criteria, not merely if they bear a causal/historical relation to (...)
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  • Can Welfare Be Measured with a Preference-Satisfaction Index?Willem van der Deijl - 2018 - Journal of Economic Methodology 25 (2):126-142.
    Welfare in economics is generally conceived of in terms of the satisfaction of preferences, but a general, comparable index measure of welfare is generally not taken to be possible. In recent years, in response to the usage of measures of subjective well-being as indices of welfare in economics, a number of economists have started to develop measures of welfare based on preference-satisfaction. In order to evaluate the success of such measures, I formulate criteria of policy-relevance and theoretical success in the (...)
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  • What Food is “Good” for You? Toward a Pragmatic Consideration of Multiple Values Domains.Donald B. Thompson & Bryan McDonald - 2013 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 26 (1):137-163.
    What makes a food good, for you? With respect to food, the expression “good for you” usually refers to the effect of the food on the nutritional health of the eater, but it can also pertain more broadly. The expression is often used by a person who is concerned with another person’s well-being, as part of an exhortation. But when framed as a question and addressed to you, as an individual, the question can require a response, calling for accountability beyond (...)
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  • Scales for Scope: A New Solution to the Scope Problem for Pro-Attitude-Based Well-Being.Hasko von Kriegstein - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (4):417-438.
    Theories of well-being that give an important role to satisfied pro-attitudes need to account for the fact that, intuitively, the scope of possible objects of pro-attitudes seems much wider than the scope of things, states, or events that affect our well-being. Parfit famously illustrated this with his wish that a stranger may recover from an illness: it seems implausible that the stranger’s recovery would constitute a benefit for Parfit. There is no consensus in the literature about how to rule out (...)
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  • Happiness, the Self and Human Flourishing.Dan Haybron - 2008 - Utilitas 20 (1):21-49.
    It may even be held that [the intellect] is the true self of each, inasmuch as it is the dominant and better part; and therefore it would be a strange thing if a man should choose to live not his own life but the life of some other than himself. Moreover . . . that which is best and most pleasant for each creature is that which is proper to the nature of each; accordingly the life of the intellect is (...)
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  • Normativity For Naturalists.Brian Leiter - 2015 - Philosophical Issues 25 (1):64-79.
  • Moral Value, Response-Dependence, and Rigid Designation.Brad Thompson - 2006 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36 (1):71-94.
  • Evolutionary Skepticism About Morality and Prudential Normativity.Peter Königs - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (4):911-928.
    Debunking arguments aim at defeating the justification of a belief by revealing the belief to have a dubious genealogy. One prominent example of such a debunking argument is Richard Joyce’s evolutionary debunking explanation of morality. Joyce’s argument targets only our belief in moral facts, while our belief in prudential facts is exempt from his evolutionary critique. In this paper, I suggest that our belief in prudential facts falls victim to evolutionary debunking, too. Just as our moral sense can be explained (...)
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  • Deformed Desires and Informed Desire Tests.Anita Superson - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (4):109-126.
    The formal theory of rational choice as grounded in desire-satisfaction cannot account for the problem of such deformed desires as women's slavish desires. Traditional "informed desire" tests impose conditions of rationality, such as full information and absence of psychoses, but do not exclude deformed desires. I offer a Kantian-inspired addendum to these tests, according to which the very features of deformed desires render them irrational to adopt for an agent who appreciates her equal worth.
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  • Second-Order Preferences and Instrumental Rationality.Donald W. Bruckner - 2011 - Acta Analytica 26 (4):367-385.
    A second-order preference is a preference over preferences. This paper addresses the role that second-order preferences play in a theory of instrumental rationality. I argue that second-order preferences have no role to play in the prescription or evaluation of actions aimed at ordinary ends. Instead, second-order preferences are relevant to prescribing or evaluating actions only insofar as those actions have a role in changing or maintaining first-order preferences. I establish these claims by examining and rejecting the view that second-order preferences (...)
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  • Genetically Modifying Livestock for Improved Welfare: A Path Forward.Adam Shriver & Emilie McConnachie - 2018 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 31 (2):161-180.
    In recent years, humans’ ability to selectively modify genes has increased dramatically as a result of the development of new, more efficient, and easier genetic modification technology. In this paper, we argue in favor of using this technology to improve the welfare of agricultural animals. We first argue that using animals genetically modified for improved welfare is preferable to the current status quo. Nevertheless, the strongest argument against pursuing gene editing for welfare is that there are alternative approaches to addressing (...)
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  • Adaptation and the Measurement of Well-Being.Tim Taylor - 2014 - Ethics and Social Welfare 8 (3):248-261.
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  • Resisting Buck-Passing Accounts of Prudential Value.Guy Fletcher - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (1):77-91.
    This paper aims to cast doubt upon a certain way of analysing prudential value (or good for ), namely in the manner of a ‘buck-passing’ analysis. It begins by explaining why we should be interested in analyses of good for and the nature of buck-passing analyses generally (§I). It moves on to considering and rejecting two sets of buck-passing analyses. The first are analyses that are likely to be suggested by those attracted to the idea of analysing good for in (...)
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  • Internalism, (Super)Fragile Reasons, and the Conditional Fallacy.Teresa Robertson - 2003 - Philosophical Papers 32 (2):171-184.
    Abstract David Sobel (2001) objects to Bernard Williams's internalism, the view that an agent has a reason to perform an action only if she has some motive that will be served by performing that action. Sobel is an unusual challenger in that he endorses neo-Humean subjectivism, ?the view that it is the agent's subjective motivational set that makes it the case that an agent does or does not have a reason to φ? (219). Sobel's objection in fact arises from this (...)
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  • Desire-Satisfaction and Welfare as Temporal.Dale Dorsey - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (1):151-171.
    Welfare is at least occasionally a temporal phenomenon: welfare benefits befall me at certain times. But this fact seems to present a problem for a desire-satisfaction view. Assume that I desire, at 10am, January 12th, 2010, to climb Mount Everest sometime during 2012. Also assume, however, that during 2011, my desires undergo a shift: I no longer desire to climb Mount Everest during 2012. In fact, I develop an aversion to so doing. Imagine, however, that despite my aversion, I am (...)
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  • Relational Good and the Multiplicity Problem.Connie S. Rosati - 2009 - Philosophical Issues 19 (1):205-234.
  • Desire Satisfactionism and Hedonism.Chris Heathwood - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 128 (3):539-563.
    Hedonism and the desire-satisfaction theory of welfare are typically seen as archrivals in the contest over identifying what makes one's life go best. It is surprising, then, that the most plausible form of hedonism just is the most plausible form of desire satisfactionism. How can a single theory of welfare be a version of both hedonism and desire satisfactionism? The answer lies in what pleasure is: pleasure is, in my view, the subjective satisfaction of desire. This thesis about pleasure is (...)
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  • Moralities Are a Sign-Language of the Affects.Brian Leiter - 2013 - Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):237-258.
    This essay offers an interpretation and partial defense of Nietzsche's idea that moralities and moral judgments are or of our affects, that is, of our emotions or feelings. According to Nietzsche, as I reconstruct his view, moral judgments result from the interaction of two kinds of affective responses: first, a of inclination toward or aversion from certain acts, and then a further affective response (the ) to that basic affect (that is, sometimes we can be either inclined towards or averted (...)
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  • What Do Our Critical Practices Say About the Nature of Morality?Charlie Kurth - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (1):45-64.
    A prominent argument for moral realism notes that we are inclined to accept realism in science because scientific inquiry supports a robust set of critical practices—error, improvement, explanation, and the like. It then argues that because morality displays a comparable set of critical practices, a claim to moral realism is just as warranted as a claim to scientific realism. But the argument is only as strong as its central analogy—and here there is trouble. If the analogy between the critical practices (...)
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  • Health and Autonomy.Jukka Varelius - 2004 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 8 (2):221-230.
    Individual autonomy is a prominent value in Western medicine and medical ethics, and there it is often accepted that the only way to pay proper respect to autonomy is to let the patients themselves determine what is good for them. Adopting this approach has, however, given rise to some unwanted results, thus motivating a quest for an objective conception of health. Unfortunately, the purportedly objective conceptions of health have failed in objectivity, and if a conception of health is not acceptable (...)
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  • Self-Validation and Internalism in Velleman’s Constitutivism.Michael Bukoski - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2667-2686.
    Metaethical constitutivists explain reasons or normativity in terms of what is constitutive of agency. In Velleman’s paradigmatic constitutivist theory, that is the aim of self-understanding. The best-known objection to constitutivism is Enoch’s shmagency objection: constitutivism cannot explain normativity because a constitutive aim of agency lacks normative significance unless one has reason to be an agent rather than a “shmagent”. In response, Velleman argues that the constitutive aim is self-validating. I argue that this claim is false. If the constitutive aim of (...)
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  • Can There Be a Global, Interesting, Coherent Constructivism About Practical Reason?David Enoch - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (3):319-339.
    More and more people seem to think that constructivism - in political philosophy, in moral philosophy, and perhaps in practical reasoning most generally - is the way to go. And yet it is surprisingly hard to even characterize the view. In this paper, I go to some lengths trying to capture the essence of a constructivist position - mostly in the realm of practical reason - and to pinpoint its theoretical attractions. I then give some reason to suspect that there (...)
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  • Alienation, Deprivation, and the Well-Being of Persons.Benjamin Yelle - 2014 - Utilitas 26 (4):367-384.
    While many theories of well-being are able to capture some of our central intuitions about well-being, e.g. avoiding alienation worries, they typically do so at the cost of not being able to capture others, e.g. explaining deprivation. However, both of these intuitions are important and any comprehensive theory of well-being ought to attempt to strike the best balance in responding to both concerns. In light of this, I develop and defend a theory of well-being which holds that our well-being depends, (...)
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  • Well-Being as the Object of Moral Consideration.David Sobel - 1998 - Economics and Philosophy 14 (2):249.
    The proposal I offer attempts to remedy the inadequacies of exclusive focus on well-being for moral purposes. The proposal is this: We should allow the agent to decide for herself where she wants to throw the weight that is her due in moral reflection, with the proviso that she understands the way that her weight will be aggregated with others in reaching a moral outcome. I will call this the "autonomy principle." The autonomy principle, I claim, provides the consequentialist's best (...)
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  • Reasons for Emotion and Moral Motivation.Reid Blackman - forthcoming - Canadian Journal of Philosophy:1-23.
    Internalism about normative reasons is the view that an agent’s normative reasons depend on her motivational constitution. On the assumption that there are reasons for emotion I argue that externalism about reasons for emotion entails that all rational agents have reasons to be morally motivated and internalism about reasons for emotion is implausible. If the arguments are sound we can conclude that all rational agents have reasons to be morally motivated. Resisting this conclusion requires either justifying internalism about reasons for (...)
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  • Breaking the Law of Desire.Joshua Gert - 2005 - Erkenntnis 62 (3):295-319.
    This paper offers one formal reason why it may often be inappropriate to hold, of two conflicting desires, that the first must be weaker than, stronger than, or of the same strength as the second. The explanation of this fact does not rely on vagueness or epistemological problems in determining the strengths of desires. Nor does it make use of the problematic notion of incommensurability. Rather, the suggestion is that the motivational capacities of many desires might best be characterized by (...)
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  • How Kantian Must Kantian Constructivists Be?Evan Tiffany - 2006 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 49 (6):524 – 546.
    Kantian constructivists locate the source of normativity in the rational nature of valuing agents. Some further argue that accepting this premise thereby commits one to accepting the intrinsic or unconditioned value of rational nature itself. Whereas much of the critical literature on this “regress on conditions” argument has focused either on the cogency of the inference from the value-conferring capacity of the will to the unconditional value of that capacity itself or on the plausibility of the initial constructivist premise, my (...)
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  • Desire Satisfaction, Death, and Time.Duncan Purves - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (6):799-819.
    Desire satisfaction theories of well-being and deprivationism about the badness of death face similar problems: desire satisfaction theories have trouble locating the time when the satisfaction of a future or past-directed desire benefits a person; deprivationism has trouble locating a time when death is bad for a person. I argue that desire satisfaction theorists and deprivation theorists can address their respective timing problems by accepting fusionism, the view that some events benefit or harm individuals only at fusions of moments in (...)
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  • Self-Expression: A Deep Self Theory of Moral Responsibility.Chandra Sripada - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1203-1232.
    According to Dewey, we are responsible for our conduct because it is “ourselves objectified in action”. This idea lies at the heart of an increasingly influential deep self approach to moral responsibility. Existing formulations of deep self views have two major problems: They are often underspecified, and they tend to understand the nature of the deep self in excessively rationalistic terms. Here I propose a new deep self theory of moral responsibility called the Self-Expression account that addresses these issues. The (...)
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  • Making Good Choices: Toward a Theory of Well-Being in Medicine.Alicia Hall - 2016 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 37 (5):383-400.
    The principle of beneficence directs healthcare practitioners to promote patients’ well-being, ensuring that the patients’ best interests guide treatment decisions. Because there are a number of distinct theories of well-being that could lead to different conclusions about the patient’s good, a careful consideration of which account is best suited for use in the medical context is needed. While there has been some discussion of the differences between subjective and objective theories of well-being within the bioethics literature, less attention has been (...)
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  • Subjective Well-Being and Desire Satisfaction.Donald W. Bruckner - 2010 - Philosophical Papers 39 (1):1-28.
    There is a large literature in empirical psychology studying what psychologists call 'subjective well-being'. Only limited attention has been given to these results by philosophers who study what we call 'well-being'. In this paper, I assess the relevance of the empirical results to one philosophical theory of well-being, the desire satisfaction theory. According to the desire satisfaction theory, an individual's well-being is enhanced when her desires are satisfied. The empirical results, however, show that many of our desires are disappointed in (...)
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  • Preferences and Prudential Reasons.Dale Dorsey - forthcoming - Utilitas:1-22.
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  • On Two Interpretations of the Desire-Satisfaction Theory of Prudential Value.Joseph van Weelden - forthcoming - Utilitas:1-20.
    This article considers two different ways of formulating a desire-satisfaction theory of prudential value. The first version of the theory (the object view) assigns basic prudential value to the state of affairs that is the object of a person’s desire. The second version (the combo view) assigns basic prudential value to the compound state of affairs in which (a) a person desires some state of affairs and (b) this state of affairs obtains. My aims in this article are twofold. First, (...)
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  • Deformed Desires and Informed Desire Tests.Anita M. Superson - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (4):109-126.
    : The formal theory of rational choice as grounded in desire-satisfaction cannot account for the problem of such deformed desires as women's slavish desires. Traditional "informed desire" tests impose conditions of rationality, such as full information and absence of psychoses, but do not exclude deformed desires. I offer a Kantian-inspired addendum to these tests, according to which the very features of deformed desires render them irrational to adopt for an agent who appreciates her equal worth.
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  • The Amoralist and the Anaesthetic.Alex King - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    This article puts pressure on moral motivational internalism and rejects normative motivational internalism by arguing that we should be aesthetic motivational externalists. Parallels between aesthetic and moral normativity give us new reason to doubt moral internalism. I address possible disanalogies, arguing that either they fail, or they succeed, but aren’t strong enough to underwrite a motivational difference between the domains. Furthermore, aesthetic externalism entails normative externalism, providing further presumptive evidence against moral internalism. I also make the case that, regardless of (...)
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  • Internal Reasons and the Conditional Fallacy.Robert N. Johnson - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (194):53-72.
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