Rationality and the Structure of the Self, Volume I: The Humean Conception

APRA Foundation Berlin (2013)
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Abstract

The Humean conception of the self consists in the belief-desire model of motivation and the utility-maximizing model of rationality. This conception has dominated Western thought in philosophy and the social sciences ever since Hobbes’ initial formulation in Leviathan and Hume’s elaboration in the Treatise of Human Nature. Bentham, Freud, Ramsey, Skinner, Allais, von Neumann and Morgenstern and others have added further refinements that have brought it to a high degree of formal sophistication. Late twentieth century moral philosophers such as Rawls, Brandt, Frankfurt, Nagel and Williams have taken it for granted, and have made use of it to supply metaethical foundations for a wide variety of normative moral theories. But the Humean conception of the self also leads to seemingly insoluble problems about moral motivation, rational final ends, and moral justification. Can it be made to work?

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Adrian M. S. Piper
APRA Foundation, Berlin

Citations of this work

Kant's Self-Legislation Procedure Reconsidered.Adrian M. S. Piper - 2012 - Kant Studies Online 2012 (1):203-277.

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References found in this work

A treatise of human nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1739 - Oxford,: Clarendon press. Edited by L. A. Selby-Bigge.
Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.

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