The Unity of Normative Thought

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (3):639-658 (2021)
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Practical cognitivism is the view that practical reason is our will, not an intellectual capacity whose exercises can influence those of our will. If practical reason is our will, thoughts about how I am to act have an essential tie to action. They are intentions. Thoughts about how others are to act, though, lack such a tie to action. They are beliefs, not intentions. How, then, can these thoughts form a unified class? I reject two answers which deny the differences between such thoughts about myself and those about others, one of which says that all such thoughts are intentions, the other that all are beliefs. I then reject a shared assumption which says that a class of thoughts is unified only if all its elements are all of one type of thought. I instead argue that this class is unified even though some elements are intentions, others beliefs, because such beliefs depend on those intentions in various ways.



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Jeremy David Fix
University of Oxford

Citations of this work

Practical cognition as volition.Jeremy David Fix - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (3):1077-1091.
The Morality in Intimacy.Jeremy David Fix - 2022 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Oxford studies in philosophy of mind. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

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References found in this work

Critique of Pure Reason.I. Kant - 1787/1998 - Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.
Virtue and Reason.John Mcdowell - 1979 - The Monist 62 (3):331-350.
Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 57:321-332.
Rational causation.Eric Marcus - 2012 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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