Humean motivation and Humean rationality

Philosophical Studies 79 (1):37-57 (1995)
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Abstract

Michael Smith's recent defence of the theory shows promise, in that it captures the most common reasons for accepting a Humean view. But, as I will argue, it falls short of vindicating the view. Smith's argument fails, because it ignores the role of rationality conditions on the ascription of motivating reason explanations. Because of these conditions, we must have a theory of rationality before we choose a theory of motivation. Thus, we cannot use Humean restrictions on motivation to argue for a particular conception of rationality. I will not directly criticize using a Humean conception of rationality to defend a Humean theory of motivation. For my argument implies that such criticism must come more directly, as argument over the substantive content of rationality.

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Mark van Roojen
University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Citations of this work

Moral Cognitivism vs. Non-Cognitivism.Mark van Roojen - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2013 (1):1-88.
Motivation in agents.Christian Miller - 2008 - Noûs 42 (2):222–266.
Internal Reasons.Kieran Setiya - 2012 - In Kieran Setiya & Hille Paakkunainen (eds.), Internal Reasons: Contemporary Readings. MIT Press.
Belief attribution and the falsification of motive internalism.Michael Cholbi - 2006 - Philosophical Psychology 19 (5):607 – 616.

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References found in this work

Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
The Possibility of Altruism.Thomas Nagel - 1970 - Oxford Clarendon Press.
Internal and External Reasons.Bernard Williams - 1979 - In Ross Harrison (ed.), Rational Action. Cambridge University Press. pp. 101-113.

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