Humean Instrumentalism and the Motivational Capacity of Reason

Journal of Philosophical Research 27:499-509 (2002)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Humean instrumentalism is the view that all of one’s reasons for action are ultimately grounded in one’s antecedent desires, whatever those happen to be. According to this view, what determines which actions are rational is ultimately what the agent wants or desires, while the role of rational deliberation is to inform the agent about how to best gratify these desires. In this paper I aim to weaken commitment to Humean instrumentalism by showing that (a) the main supporting argument for HI fails and that (b) Humean instrumentalism conflicts with a very plausible principle of practical rationality.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,726

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Humean Instrumentalism and the Motivational Capacity of Reason.Patrick Yarnell - 2002 - Journal of Philosophical Research 27:499-509.
The Humean Theory of Practical Irrationality.Neil Sinhababu - 2011 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 1 (6):1-13.
Audi on Substantive vs Instrumental Rationality. [REVIEW]Ausonio Marras - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):194-201.
Audi on substantive vs instrumental rationality. [REVIEW]Ausonio Marras - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):194–201.
Instrumentalism, Objectivity, and Moral Justification.Adrian M. S. Piper - 1986 - American Philosophical Quarterly 23 (4):373 - 381.
Neo‐Humean rationality and two types of principles.Caj Strandberg - 2024 - Analytic Philosophy 65 (2):256-273.
Defending Humeanism.Christian Johannes Piller - 1997 - Dissertation, Princeton University
Reasons for actions and desires.Ulrike Heuer - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 121 (1):43–63.
Desires as reasons.Yonatan Shemmer - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):326–348.


Added to PP

44 (#359,213)

6 months
6 (#736,944)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

The Hume Literature, 2002.William Edward Morris - 2003 - Hume Studies 29 (2):381-400.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references