Desire-Based Theories of Reasons, Pleasure and Welfare


Authors
Chris Heathwood
University of Colorado, Boulder
Abstract
One of the most important disputes in the foundations of ethics concerns the source of practical reasons. On the desire-based view, only one’s desires provide one with reasons to act. On the value-based view, reasons are instead provided by the objective evaluative facts, and never by our desires. Similarly, there are desire-based and non-desired-based theories about two other phenomena: pleasure and welfare. It has been argued, and is natural to think, that holding a desire-based theory about either pleasure or welfare commits one to recognizing that desires do provide reasons for action – i.e., commits one to abandoning the value-based theory of reasons. The purpose of this paper is to show that this is not so. All of the following can be true: pleasure and welfare provide reasons; pleasure and welfare are to be understood in terms of desire; desires never provide reasons, in the relevant way.
Keywords well-being  welfare  reasons  reasons internalism  reasons externalism  pleasure  desire-satisfaction theory of welfare  desire theory of pleasure  preferentism
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References found in this work BETA

Moral Realism: A Defence.Russ Shafer-Landau - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA

The Distinctive Feeling Theory of Pleasure.Ben Bramble - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):201-217.
Prudence, Morality, and the Humean Theory of Reasons.Eden Lin - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (259):220-240.
Attitudinal and Phenomenological Theories of Pleasure.Eden Lin - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.

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