Prospects for a naturalization of practical reason: Humean instrumentalism and the normative authority of desire
International Journal of Philosophical Studies 10 (3):235 – 263 (2002)
This is an age of naturalization projects. Much epistemological work has been done toward naturalizing theoretical reason. One might view Hume as seeking to naturalize reason in both the theoretical (roughly, epistemological) and the practical realms. I suggest that whatever else underlies the vitality of Hume's instrumentalism - encapsulated in his view that 'reason is and ought only to be the slave of the passions' - one incentive is the hope of naturalizing practical reason. This paper explores some broadly Humean versions of instrumentalism that are among the most plausible contenders to represent instrumentalism as a contemporary naturalistic position. It first offers a taxonomy of reasons for action and, in that light, formulates a plausible version of instrumentalism. It then raises difficulties for the view, some of them concerning the nature of desire. It also develops an epistemologically significant comparison of desires with beliefs. Given the magnitude of the difficulties, it outlines an alternative account of practical reason.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Desire: Its Role in Practical Reason and the Explanation of Action.G. F. Schueler - 1995 - MIT Press.
Against All Reason? Scepticism About the Instrumental Norm.Stephen Finlay - 2009 - In Charles R. Pigden (ed.), Hume on Motivation and Virtue. Palgrave-Macmillan.
Humean Instrumentalism and the Motivational Capacity of Reason.Patrick Yarnell - 2002 - Journal of Philosophical Research 27:499-509.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads91 ( #56,412 of 2,164,293 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #128,955 of 2,164,293 )
How can I increase my downloads?