Philosophical Studies 150 (1):37-47 (2010)
AbstractAmbivalence is most naturally characterized as a case of conflicting desires. In most cases, an agent’s intrinsic desires conflict contingently: there is some possible world in which both desires would be satisfied. This paper argues, though, that there are cases in which intrinsic desires necessarily conflict—i.e., the desires are not jointly satisfiable in any possible world. Desiring a challenge for its own sake is a paradigm case of such a desire. Ambivalence of this sort in an agent’s desires creates special problems for the project of reducing all facts about an agent’s desires to facts about his or her preferences over options. If this reductive project fails, there is reason to suspect that the Decision Theory cannot give us a complete theory of Humean rationality.
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Citations of this work
What Does Decision Theory Have to Do with Wanting?Milo Phillips-Brown - 2021 - Mind 130 (518):413-437.
How Expressivists Can and Should Explain Inconsistency.Derek Clayton Baker & Jack Woods - 2015 - Ethics 125 (2):391-424.
Shared Agency Without Shared Intention.Samuel Asarnow - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (281):665-688.
Horror and Hedonic Ambivalence.Matthew Strohl - 2012 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 70 (2):203-212.
Noncognitivism in Metaethics and the Philosophy of Action.Samuel Asarnow - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.