Philosophical Explorations 21 (1):76-89 (2018)

Authors
Elizabeth S. Radcliffe
College of William and Mary
Abstract
On a standard interpretation, Hume argued that reason is not practical, because its operations are limited to “demonstration” and “probability.” But recent critics claim that by limiting reason’s operations to only these two, his argument begs the question. Despite this, a better argument for motivational skepticism can be found in Hume’s text, one that emphasizes reason’s inability to generate motive force against contrary desires or passions. Nothing can oppose an impulse but a contrary impulse, Hume believed, and reason cannot generate an impulse. This better argument is here developed and defended. Two lines of objection to it can be anticipated: that reason actually can generate impulsive force, based on contents of its normative judgments and that reason neither can nor needs to generate an impulse, since the actions of rational agents are not determined by forceful impulses of desire, as Hume supposed. These objections are answered by pointing out their unsatisfying consequences.
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DOI 10.1080/13869795.2017.1421692
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References found in this work BETA

The Possibility of Altruism.Thomas Nagel - 1970 - Oxford Clarendon Press.
Creating the Kingdom of Ends.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Are Moral Requirements Hypothetical Imperatives?John Mcdowell & I. G. Mcfetridge - 1978 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes( 52:13-42.
The Possibility of Altruism.John Benson - 1972 - Philosophical Quarterly 22 (86):82-83.
Creating the Kingdom of Ends.Allen W. Wood - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (4):607.

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