Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (2):227-252 (2010)

Authors
Patricia Marino
University of Waterloo
Abstract
This paper concerns the normative status of coherence of desires, in the context of moral rationalism. I argue that 'desiderative coherence' is not tied to rationality, but is rather of pragmatic, instrumental, and sometimes moral value. This means that desire-based views cannot rely on coherence to support non-agent-relative accounts of moral reasons. For example, on Michael Smith's neo-rationalist view, you have 'normative reason' to do whatever your maximally coherent and fully informed self would want you to do, whether you want to do it or not. For these reasons to be non-agent-relative, coherence would have to be grounded in rationality, but I argue that it is not. I analyze, and reject, various strategies for establishing a coherence-rationality connection, considering in detail a purported analogy between desires and a priori beliefs, with particular attention to the case of mathematics
Keywords COHERENCE   DESIRE   MICHAEL SMITH   MORAL RATIONALISM   RATIONALITY
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DOI 10.1163/174552409X12574076813478
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References found in this work BETA

A Case of Mixed Feelings: Ambivalence and the Logic of Emotion.Patricia Greenspan - 1980 - In A. O. Rorty (ed.), Explaining Emotions. University of California Press. pp. 223--250.
Irrational Desires.Donald C. Hubin - 1991 - Philosophical Studies 62 (1):23 - 44.
The Metaethical Problem.Geoffrey Sayre-McCord - 1997 - Ethics 108 (1):55-83.
Moral Realism.Michael Smith - 2000 - In Hugh LaFollette - (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Ethical Theory. Blackwell. pp. 15--37.
On Essentially Conflicting Desires.Patricia Marino - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (235):274-291.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Problem of Emotional Significance.Carolyn Price - 2013 - Acta Analytica 28 (2):189-206.
An Ecumenical Account of Categorical Moral Reasons.Caj Strandberg - 2019 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 16 (2):160-188.

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