The Humean theory of motivation: much ado about nothing?

Synthese 203 (133):1-18 (2024)
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Abstract

According to the Humean theory of motivation, desire is identified as the primary source of motivation, while cognitive states like beliefs are recognized as necessary but not sufficient conditions. This paper conducts a comprehensive analysis of the established teleological argument supporting the Humean theory of motivation. The analysis finds that recent anti-Humean strategies cannot conclusively challenge the core premises of this argument. While this result may initially imply a strong and convincing defense of the Humean theory against opponents’ criticisms, it will be shown that the argument can withstand objections only through the adoption of an assumption that renders it unfalsifiable.

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Voin Milevski
University of Belgrade (PhD)

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