Authors
Ben Bramble
Australian National University
Abstract
Many philosophers think that it is only because we happen to want or care about things that we think some things of value. We start off caring about things, and then project these desires onto the external world. In this chapter, I make a preliminary case for the opposite view, that it is our evaluative thinking that is prior or comes first. On this view, it is only because we think some things of value that we care about or want anything at all. This view is highly explanatory. In particular, it explains (i) the special role that pleasure and pain play in our motivational systems, (ii) why phenomenal consciousness evolved, and (iii) how the two main competing theories of normative reasons for action—i.e., objectivism and subjectivism—can be reconciled. After explaining why this is so, I respond to the most serious objections to this view, including that it cannot account for temptation and willpower, or for the existence and appropriateness of the reactive attitudes.
Keywords Desire  Guise of the good  Value theory  Phenomenal consciousness  Pleasure  Pain  Normative reasons for action  Willpower  Weakness of will  Reactive attitudes
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Epiphenomenal Qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.
Slaves of the Passions.Mark Schroeder - 2007 - Oxford University Press.

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