Philip Clark
University of Toronto, Mississauga
Reflection on the nature of practical thought has led some philosophers to hold that some beliefs have a necessary influence on the will. Reflection on the nature of motivational explanation has led other philosophers to say that no belief can motivate without the assistance of a background desire. An assumption common to both groups of philosophers is that these views cannot be combined. Agreement on this assumption is so deep that it is taken as going without saying. The only option entertained is which of the views to reject. This way of thinking, I argue, is directly responsible for the deadlock between Humeans like Donald Davidson and Michael Smith, and anti-Humeans like Thomas Nagel and John McDowell. But there is an antidote. The traditional Greek conception of practical reason gives us an attractive way of holding both that all beliefs require assistance and that certain beliefs entail a disposition of the will.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
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ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.2307/2653490
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