Motivation in agents

Noûs 42 (2):222–266 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The Humean theory of motivation remains the default position in much of the contemporary literature in meta-ethics, moral psychology, and action theory. Yet despite its widespread support, the theory is implausible as a view about what motivates agents to act. More specifically, my reasons for dissatisfaction with the Humean theory stem from its incompatibility with what I take to be a compelling model of the role of motivating reasons in first-person practical deliberation and third-person action explanations. So after first introducing some assumptions about the nature of agency in section one, I will turn to articulating and defending this account of motivating reasons in sections two through four of the paper. Section five then provides some background on the Humean theory before I argue directly against it in section six and critically examine the leading arguments for the view in section seven. Given limitations of space, however, I save the task of developing a positive anti-Humean view for another occasion.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,100

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Humean motivation and Humean rationality.Mark van Roojen - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 79 (1):37-57.
The Humean theory of reasons.Mark Schroeder - 2007 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 2. Oxford University Press. pp. 195--219.
Why There Is Really No Such Thing as the Theory of Motivation.Jonathan Dancy - 1995 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 95 (1):1-18.
The Humean theory of motivation rejected.G. F. Schueler - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (1):103-122.
Reasons for actions and desires.Ulrike Heuer - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 121 (1):43–63.
Motivation-encompassing attitudes.Christopher G. Framarin - 2008 - Philosophical Explorations 11 (2):121 – 130.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
427 (#46,438)

6 months
56 (#82,632)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Christian Miller
Wake Forest University

Citations of this work

The Importance of Being Rational.Errol Lord - 2013 - Dissertation, Princeton University
How and Why Knowledge is First.Clayton Littlejohn - 2017 - In A. Carter, E. Gordon & B. Jarvis (eds.), Knowledge First. Oxford University Press. pp. 19-45.
The ontology of epistemic reasons.John Turri - 2009 - Noûs 43 (3):490-512.
Motivational Internalism and the Challenge of Amoralism.Danielle Bromwich - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (2):452-471.
Moral motivation.Connie S. Rosati - 2006 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 21 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by John Henry McDowell.
The Language of Thought.Jerry A. Fodor - 1975 - Harvard University Press.
Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind.John R. Searle - 1983 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

View all 183 references / Add more references