Authors
Caroline T. Arruda
University of Texas at El Paso
Abstract
I show that defenses of the Humean theory of motivation often rely on a mistaken assumption. They assume that desires are necessary conditions for being motivated to act because desires themselves have a special, essential, necessary feature, such as their world-to-mind direction of fit, that enables them to motivate. Call this the Desire-Necessity Claim. Beliefs cannot have this feature, so they cannot motivate. Or so the story goes. I show that: when pressed, a proponent of HTM encounters a series of prima facie counterexamples to this Claim; and the set of claims that seem to naturally complement the Desire-Necessity Claim as well as provide successful responses to these counterexamples turn out to deny the truth of this same claim. As a result, the Humean implicitly grants that it is at least equally plausible, if not more plausible, to claim that desires are not able to motivate in virtue of what they necessarily possess. Instead, desires contingently possess features that enable them to motivate.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories No categories specified
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ISBN(s) 1053-8364
DOI 10.5840/jpr20191029148
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