Moore's Paradox in Belief and Desire

Acta Analytica 29 (1):1-23 (2014)

Authors
John N. Williams
Singapore Management University
Abstract
Is there a Moore ’s paradox in desire? I give a normative explanation of the epistemic irrationality, and hence absurdity, of Moorean belief that builds on Green and Williams’ normative account of absurdity. This explains why Moorean beliefs are normally irrational and thus absurd, while some Moorean beliefs are absurd without being irrational. Then I defend constructing a Moorean desire as the syntactic counterpart of a Moorean belief and distinguish it from a ‘Frankfurt’ conjunction of desires. Next I discuss putative examples of rational and irrational desires, suggesting that there are norms of rational desire. Then I examine David Wall’s groundbreaking argument that Moorean desires are always unreasonable. Next I show against this that there are rational as well as irrational Moorean desires. Those that are irrational are also absurd, although there seem to be absurd desires that are not irrational. I conclude that certain norms of rational desire should be rejected
Keywords Moore's paradox  Belief  Desire  Norms  Absurdity  Irrationality
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-013-0189-1
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References found in this work BETA

Mortal Questions.Thomas Nagel - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
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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Citations of this work BETA

Moore's Paradox in Thought: A Critical Survey.John N. Williams - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (1):24-37.
Moore’s Paradox in Speech: A Critical Survey.John N. Williams - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (1):10-23.

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