Motivation

Edited by Joshua May (University of Alabama, Birmingham)
About this topic
Summary Philosophers often treat motivation in connection with desire, given that they often use the term "desire" to refer to mental states that are in essence motivational. This does not necessarily lead to the theory that we are all ultimately self-interested (psychological egoism), since our ultimate desires could concern the welfare of others. And some believe motivation can be generated by states other than desire, such as belief, imagination, or intentions. Still, many share the view often labelled psychologism: motivation, even acting on reasons, must involve psychological states of some sort or other. After all, how could the fact that there is salmon on the table motivate me to consume it unless I at least believe this and want some salmon? Not everyone buys into a tight connection between mental states and motivation, however. Some seek to make an exception at least for rational action, which not all animals can exhibit. Proponents of anti-psychologism maintain that we don't need mental states at all in the causation and explanation of rational action. When we act on good reasons, for example, perhaps we can be motivated by something like the contents of those states---the propositions believed or desired.  Settling this dispute doesn't exhaust the philosophical issues surrounding motivation, but they are largely taken up in other categories.
Key works Davidson 1963 and Smith 1987 are contemporary and already classic pieces connecting motivation and desire, though couched in terms of reasons. They build on ideas in Anscombe 1957 (see her shopping list example, section 32). Anti-psychologism has clearly and explicitly been defended by Dancy (19952000).
Introductions Ch. 1 of Mele 2003 provides a comprehensive introduction to motivation, along with a useful glossary of terms (or see Mele 1995). The entries by Schroeder 2006 and Pettit 1998 cover desire, but they are useful introductions to motivation. Lenman 2010 (esp. sects. 5-6) discusses psychologism and related views.
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  1. Aristotle on Motion in Incomplete Animals.Daniel Coren - forthcoming - Apeiron: A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science.
    I explain what Aristotle means when, after puzzling about the matter of motion in incomplete animals (those without sight, smell, hearing), he suggests in De Anima III 11.433b31-434a5 that just as incomplete animals are moved indeterminately, desire and phantasia are present in those animals, but present indeterminately. I argue that self-motion and its directing faculties in incomplete animals differ in degree but not in kind from those of complete animals. I examine how an object of desire differs for an incomplete (...)
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  2. On Self-Knowledge of Motives.Pablo Hubacher Haerle - forthcoming - The Monist.
    Many philosophers claim that we have duty to know our motives. However, prominent theories of the mind suggest that we can’t. Such scepticism about knowledge of one’s motives is based on psychological evidence. I show that this evidence only mandates scepticism about knowledge of one’s motives if we rely on a mistaken assumption which I call ‘the myth of the one true motive’. If we reject this myth, we see that there is space to plausibly interpret the empirical data such (...)
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  3. Knowing what you Want.Eric Marcus - forthcoming - In Lucy Campbell (ed.), Forms of Knowledge. Oxford.
    How do you know what you want? Philosophers have lately developed sophisticated accounts of the practical and doxastic knowledge that are rooted in the point of view of the subject. Our ability to just say what we are doing or what we believe—that is, to say so authoritatively, but not on the basis of observation or evidence—is an aspect of our ability to reason about the good and the true. However, no analogous route to orectic self-knowledge is feasible. Knowledge of (...)
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  4. Which Emotional Behaviors are Actions?Jean Moritz Müller & Hong Yu Wong - forthcoming - In Andrea Scarantino (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Emotion Theory. New York City, New York, USA:
    There is a wide range of things we do out of emotion. For example, we smile with pleasure, our voices drop when we are sad, we recoil in shock or jump for joy, we apologize to others out of remorse. It is uncontroversial that some of these behaviors are actions. Clearly, apologizing is an action if anything is. Things seem less clear in the case of other emotional behaviors. Intuitively, the drop in a sad person’s voice is something that happens (...)
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  5. Philosophy of Action from Suarez to Davidson.Constantine Sandis (ed.) - forthcoming
  6. The Modern Guise of the Good.Francesco Orsi (ed.) - 2024 - Routledge.
    This book is the first-ever collection dedicated to the guise of the good in early modern and later Western philosophy. It spans three centuries from Thomas Hobbes to Henry Sidgwick and features original contributions by some of the finest scholars. -/- One of the staple items of Western philosophy is the idea that we can only desire, or pursue, something under the guise of the good: if we see nothing good about it, we cannot want it. After enjoying its heydays (...)
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  7. On the nature of implicit motives.Lieke Asma - 2023 - Theory and Psychology 33 (4).
    David McClelland’s research on the different kinds of (implicit) motives and how to measure them has a substantial influence on contemporary psychology of motivation. He did not, however, reflect on the nature of implicit motives in much detail. In this paper I fill this gap. I argue that implicit motives should not be understood as mental states the agent has no introspective access to. Instead, I propose that the implicit motives that McClelland and others in the field distinguish – the (...)
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  8. Diachronic and Externally-Scaffolded Self-Control in Addiction.Federico Burdman - 2023 - Manuscrito 46 (1):77-116.
    A restrictive view of self-control identifies exercises of self-control with synchronic intrapsychic processes, and pictures diachronic and externally-scaffolded strategies not as proper instances of self-control, but as clever ways of avoiding the need to exercise that ability. In turn, defenders of an inclusive view of self-control typically argue that we should construe self-control as more than effortful inhibition, and that, on grounds of functional equivalence, all these diverse strategies might be properly described as instances of self-control. In this paper, I (...)
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  9. The Force of Habit.William Hornett - 2023 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 104 (3):1-30.
    Habits figure in action‐explanations because of their distinctive force. But what is the force of habit, and how does it motivate us? In this paper, I argue that the force of habit is the feeling of familiarity one has with the familiar course of action, where this feeling reveals a distinctive reason for acting in the usual way. I do this by considering and rejecting a popular account of habit's force in terms of habit's apparent automaticity, by arguing that one (...)
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  10. Who Cares About Winning?Nathaniel Baron-Schmitt - 2022 - European Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):248-265.
    Why do we so often care about the outcomes of games when nothing is at stake? There is a paradox here, much like the paradox of fiction, which concerns why we care about the fates and threats of merely fictional beings. I argue that the paradox threatens to overturn a great deal of what philosophers have thought about caring, severing its connection to value and undermining its moral weight. I defend a solution to the paradox that draws on Kendall Walton's (...)
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  11. The Concept of Motivation in Merleau-Ponty: Husserlian Sources, Intentionality, and Institution.Philip J. Walsh - 2022 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 60 (2):303-336.
    Merleau-Ponty’s relation to Husserl has been understood along a spectrum running from outright repudiation to deep appreciation. The aim of this paper is to clarify a significant and heretofore largely neglected unifying thread connecting Husserl and Merleau-Ponty, while also demonstrating its general philosophical import for phenomenological philosophy. On this account, the details of a programmatic philosophical continuity between these two phenomenologists can be structured around the concept of motivation. Merleau-Ponty sees in Husserl’s concept of motivation a necessary and innovative concept (...)
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  12. Deliberative Agency, Self‐Control, and the Divided Mind.Hannah Altehenger - 2021 - Theoria 87 (3):542-558.
    According to a widely endorsed claim, intentional action is brought about by an agent’s desires in accordance with these desires’ respective motivational strength. As Jay Wallace has argued, though, this “hydraulic model” of the aetiology of intentional action has a serious flaw: it fails to leave room for genuine deliberative agency. Drawing on recent developments in the debate on self-control, the article argues that Wallace’s criticism can be addressed once we combine the hydraulic model with a so-called “divided mind” account (...)
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  13. The Mismatch Problem: Why Mele's Approach to the Puzzle of Synchronic Self‐control Does Not Succeed.Hannah Altehenger - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102 (2):243-266.
    Most of us have had the experience of resisting our currently strongest desire, for example, resisting the desire to eat another cookie when eating another cookie is what we most want to do. The puzzle of synchronic self‐control, however, says that this is impossible: an agent cannot ever resist her currently strongest desire. The paper argues that one prominent solution to this puzzle – the solution offered by Al Mele – faces a serious ‘mismatch problem’, which ultimately undermines its plausibility. (...)
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  14. The Paradox of Fear in Classical Indian Buddhism.Bronwyn Finnigan - 2021 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 49 (5):913-929.
    The Buddhist Nikāya Suttas frequently mention the concept of fear (bhaya) and related synonyms. This concept does not receive much scholarly attention by subsequent Buddhist philosophers. Recent scholars identify a ‘paradox of fear’ in several traditions of classical Indian Buddhism (Brekke 1999, Finnigan 2019, Giustarini 2012). Each scholar points out, in their respective textual contexts, that fear is evaluated in two ways; one positive and the other negative. Brekke calls this the “double role” of fear (1999: 443). Each also identify (...)
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  15. Hope: Conceptual and Normative Issues.Catherine Rioux - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (3).
    Hope is often seen as at once valuable and dangerous: it can fuel our motivation in the face of challenges, but can also distract us from reality and lead us to irrationality. How can we learn to “hope well,” and what does “hoping well” involve? Contemporary philosophers disagree on such normative questions about hope and also on how to define hope as a mental state. This article explores recent philosophical debates surrounding the concept of hope and the norms governing hope. (...)
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  16. Pluralism About Practical Reasons and Reason Explanations.Eva Schmidt & Hans-Johann Glock - 2021 - Philosophical Explorations (2):1-18.
    This paper maintains that objectivism about practical reasons should be combined with pluralism both about the nature of practical reasons and about action explanations. We argue for an ‘expanding circle of practical reasons’, starting out from an open-minded monist objectivism. On this view, practical reasons are not limited to actual facts, but consist in states of affairs, possible facts that may or may not obtain. Going beyond such ‘that-ish’ reasons, we argue that goals are also bona fide practical reasons. This (...)
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  17. Book Review: The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life. [REVIEW]Jing Zhang - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
  18. Akratic Action under the Guise of the Good.Eugene Chislenko - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (5):606-621.
    Many philosophers have thought that human beings do or pursue only what we see as good. These “guise-of-the-good” views face powerful challenges and counterexamples, such as akratic action, in which we do what we ourselves believe we ought not do. I propose a new way for guise-of-the-good views to address this central counterexample by appealing to conflicting beliefs. I then answer concerns that this appeal is insufficiently explanatory, attributes too much conflict, leaves out an essential asymmetry in action against one’s (...)
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  19. Self-deception as omission.Quinn Hiroshi Gibson - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (5):657-678.
    In this paper I argue against three leading accounts of self-deception in the philosophical literature and propose a heretofore overlooked route to self-deception. The central problem with extant accounts of self-deception is that they are unable to balance two crucial desiderata: (1) to make the dynamics of self-deception (e.g., the formation of self-deceptive beliefs) psychologically plausible and (2) to capture self-deception as an intentional phenomenon for which the self-deceiver is responsible. I argue that the three leading views all fail on (...)
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  20. Wanting and willing.Eric Marcus - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (4):887-899.
    How homogenous are the sources of human motivation? Textbook Humeans hold that every human action is motivated by desire, thus any heterogeneity derives from differing objects of desire. Textbook Kantians hold that although some human actions are motivated by desire, others are motivated by reason. One question in this vicinity concerns whether there are states such that to be in one is at once take the world to be a certain way and to be motivated to act: the state-question. My (...)
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  21. Review of Emotions, Values and Agency, by Christine Tappolet (Oxford University Press 2016). [REVIEW]Jean Moritz Müller - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (280):647-650.
    Emotions, Values and Agency. By Tappolet Christine.
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  22. Emotional Actions Without Goals.Isaac Wiegman - 2020 - Erkenntnis 87 (1):393-423.
    Recent accounts of emotional action intend to explain such actions without reference to goals. Nevertheless, these accounts fail to specify the difference between goals and other kinds of motivational states. I offer two remedies. First, I develop an account of goals based on Michael Smith’s arguments for the Humean theory of motivation. On this account, a goal is a unified representation that determines behavior selection criteria and satisfaction conditions for an action. This opens the possibility that mental processes could influence (...)
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  23. Are Desires Beliefs about Normative Reasons?Avery Archer - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 61 (3):236-251.
  24. Choice set dependent performance and post-decision dissonance.Toru Suzuki - 2019 - Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 163:24-42.
    A decision maker (DM) selects a project from a set of alternatives with uncertain productivity. After the choice, she observes a signal about productivity and decides how much effort to put in. This paper analyzes the optimal decision problem of the DM who rationally filters information to deal with her post-decision cognitive dissonance. It is shown that the optimal effort level for a project can be affected by unchosen projects in her choice set, and the nature of the choice set-dependence (...)
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  25. Are morally good actions ever free?Cory J. Clark, Adam Shniderman, Jamie B. Luguri, Roy F. Baumeister & Peter H. Ditto - 2018 - Consciousness and Cognition 63 (C):161-182.
  26. Learning, Acquired Dispositions and the Humean Theory of Motivation.Christos Douskos - 2018 - Philosophical Papers 47 (2):199-233.
    A central point of contention in the ongoing debate between Humean and anti-Humean accounts of moral motivation concerns the theoretical credentials of the idea of mental states that are cognitive and motivational at the same time. Humeans claim that this idea is incoherent and thereby unintelligible (M. Smith, The Moral Problem, Blackwell 1994). I start by developing a linguistic argument against this claim. The semantics of certain ‘learning to’ and ‘knowing to’ ascriptions points to a dispositional state that has both (...)
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  27. Wanting or having to: The role of goal self-concordance in episodic future thinking.Alexandra Ernst, Frederick L. Philippe & Arnaud D'Argembeau - 2018 - Consciousness and Cognition 66 (C):26-39.
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  28. An empirical solution to the puzzle of weakness of will.Julia Haas - 2018 - Synthese (12):1-21.
    This paper presents an empirical solution to the puzzle of weakness of will. Specifically, it presents a theory of action, grounded in contemporary cognitive neuroscientific accounts of decision making, that explains the phenomenon of weakness of will without resulting in a puzzle.
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  29. Psychological Resilience and Fragility: Existential-Analytical View.Iaryna Kaplunenko - 2018 - Psychology and Psychosocial Interventions 1:41-45.
    Summarizing the historical background and characteristics of the present, it should be noted that they are significantly different from the characteristics of the world where past generations lived, which undoubtedly poses new challenges for the human ability to withstand the growing pressure of stress factors. The article considers the problems of psychological resilience and fragility in terms of Existential-analytical psychotherapy of V. Frankl and A. Langle, analyzes the historical context of the present-day Ukraine, external and internal characteristics of the modern (...)
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  30. Vivid Representations and Their Effects.Kengo Miyazono - 2018 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 9 (1):73-80.
    : Sinhababu’s Humean Nature contains many interesting and important ideas, but in this short commentary I focus on the idea of vivid representations. Sinhababu inherits his idea of vivid representations from Hume’s discussions, in particular his discussion of calm and violent passions. I am sympathetic to the idea of developing Hume’s insight that has been largely neglected by philosophers. I believe that Sinhababu and Hume are on the right track. What I do in this short commentary is to raise some (...)
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  31. Thinking, Acting, Considering.Daniel Muñoz - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (2):255-270.
    According to a familiar (alleged) requirement on practical reason, one must believe a proposition if one is to take it for granted in reasoning about what to do. This paper explores a related requirement, not on thinking but on acting—that one must accept a goal if one is to count as acting for its sake. This is the acceptance requirement. Although it is endorsed by writers as diverse as Christine Korsgaard, Donald Davidson, and Talbot Brewer, I argue that it is (...)
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  32. Ethical Non-naturalism and the Guise of the Good.Francesco Orsi - 2018 - Topoi (4):581-590.
    The paper presents a positive argument for a version of metaphysically light ethical non-naturalism from the nature of mental states such as desires. It uses as its premise the time-honoured, and recently rediscovered, doctrine of the guise of the good, whereby it is essential to desire that the object of desire be conceived as good or as normatively favoured under some description. The argument is that if the guise of the good is a correct theory of desire, then a certain (...)
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  33. Hume, Passion, and Action.Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe - 2018 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    David Hume’s theory of action is well known for several provocative theses, including that passion and reason cannot be opposed over the direction of action. In Hume, Passion, and Action, the author defends an original interpretation of Hume’s views on passion, reason and motivation that is consistent with other theses in Hume’s philosophy, loyal to his texts, and historically situated. This book challenges the now orthodox interpretation of Hume on motivation, presenting an alternative that situates Hume closer to “Humeans” than (...)
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  34. A challenge for Humean externalism.Steven Swartzer - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (1):23-44.
    Humean externalism is the view that moral motivation must be explained in terms of desires that are “external” to an agent’s motivationally-inert moral judgments. A standard argument in favor of Humean externalism appeals to the possibility of amoral or morally cynical agents—agents for whom moral considerations gain no motivational traction. The possibility of such agents seems to provide evidence for both the claim that moral judgments are themselves motivationally inert, and the claim that moral motivation has its source in desires (...)
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  35. The Guise of the Guise of the Bad.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (1):5-20.
    It is undeniable that human agents sometimes act badly, and it seems that they sometimes pursue bad things simply because they are bad. This latter phenomenon has often been taken to provide counterexamples to views according to which we always act under the guise of the good. This paper identifies several distinct arguments in favour of the possibility that one can act under the guise of the bad. GG seems to face more serious difficulties when trying to answer three different, (...)
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  36. What Kind of Theory is the Humean Theory of Motivation?Caroline T. Arruda - 2017 - Ratio 30 (3):322-342.
    I consider an underappreciated problem for proponents of the Humean theory of motivation. Namely, it is unclear whether is it to be understood as a largely psychological or largely metaphysical theory. I show that the psychological interpretation of HTM will need to be modified in order to be a tenable view and, as it will turn out, the modifications required render it virtually philosophically empty. I then argue that the largely metaphysical interpretation is the only a plausible interpretation of HTM's (...)
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  37. The verdictive organization of desire.Derek Baker - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (5):589-612.
    Deliberation often begins with the question ‘What do I want to do?’ rather than the question of what one ought to do. This paper takes that question at face value, as a question about which of one’s desires is strongest, which sometimes guides action. The paper aims to explain which properties of a desire make that desire strong, in the sense of ‘strength’ relevant to this deliberative question. Both motivational force and phenomenological intensity seem relevant to a desire’s strength; however, (...)
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  38. Cares, Identification, and Agency Reductionism.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):577-598.
    Reductionists about agency maintain that an agent’s causing something is reducible to states and events involving the agent causing something. Some worry that reductionism cannot accommodate robust forms of agency, such as self-determination. One reductionist answer to this worry, which I call ‘identification reductionism,’ contends that self-governing agents are identified with certain attitudes, and so these attitudes’ causing a decision count as the agent’s self-determining the decision. I argue that a prominent species of identification reductionism developed by Harry Frankfurt, Agnieszka (...)
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  39. Uncertainty and Control.Sven Ove Hansson - 2017 - Diametros 53:50-59.
    In a decision making context, an agent’s uncertainty can be either epistemic, i.e. due to her lack of knowledge, or agentive, i.e. due to her not having made use of her decision-making power. In cases when it is unclear whether or not a decision maker presently has control over her own future actions, it is difficult to determine whether her uncertainty is epistemic or agentive. Such situations are often difficult for the agent to deal with, but from an outsider’s perspective, (...)
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  40. Halfhearted Action and Control.Shepherd Joshua - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4.
    Some of the things we do intentionally we do halfheartedly. I develop and defend an account of halfheartedness with respect to action on which one is halfhearted with respect to an action A if one’s overall motivation to A is weak. This requires getting clear on what it is to have some level of overall motivation with respect to an action, and on what it means to say one’s overall motivation is weak or strong. After developing this account, I defend (...)
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  41. The "Guise of the Ought to Be": A Deontic View of the Intentionality of Desire.Federico Lauria - 2017 - In Federico Lauria & Julien Deonna (eds.), The Nature of Desire. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 352.
    How are we to understand the intentionality of desire? According to the two classical views, desire is either a positive evaluation or a disposition to act. This essay examines these conceptions of desire and argues for a deontic alternative, namely the view that desiring is representing a state of affairs as what ought to be. Three lines of criticism of the classical pictures of desire are provided. The first concerns desire’s direction of fit, i.e. the intuition that the world should (...)
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  42. Назви діаспорних футбольних команд як віддзеркалення тяглості українських національно-культурних традицій.Iryna Protsyk - 2017 - Language: Classic – Modern – Postmodern 3:157-165.
    Статтю присвячено розглядові назв українських футбольних команд у діаспорі, починаючи з другої половини 40-х ХХ ст. Проаналізовано мотивованість цих номінацій та продемонстровано, як під впливом національних чинників, що були визначальними у виборі найменувань футбольних команд, збережено тяглість національних культурних традицій у назовництві футбольних клубів поза межами України.
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  43. Humean Nature: How Desire Explains Action, Thought, and Feeling.Neil Sinhababu - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This book defends the Humean Theory of Motivation, according to which desire drives all action and practical reasoning. -/- Desire motivates us to pursue its object. It makes thoughts of its object pleasant. It focuses attention on its object. Its effects are amplified by vivid representations of its object. These aspects of desire explain why motivation usually accompanies moral belief, how intentions shape our plans, how we exercise willpower, what human selves are, how action can express emotion, why we procrastinate, (...)
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  44. Sport, Make-Believe, and Volatile Attitudes.Nils-Hennes Stear - 2017 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (3):275-288.
    The outcomes of sports and competitive games excite intense emotions in many people, even when those same people acknowledge that those outcomes are of trifling importance. I call this incongruity between the judged importance of the outcome and the intense reactions it provokes the Puzzle of Sport. The puzzle can be usefully compared to another puzzle in aesthetics: the Paradox of Fiction, which asks how it is we become emotionally caught up with events and characters we know to be unreal. (...)
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  45. A Solution for Buridan’s Ass.Eugene Chislenko - 2016 - Ethics 126 (2):283-310.
    Buridan’s Ass faced a choice between two identical bales of hay; governed only by reason, the donkey starved, unable to choose. It seems clear that we face many such cases, and resolve them successfully. Our success seems to tell against any view on which action and intention require evaluative preference. I argue that these views can account for intention and intentional action in cases like that of Buridan’s Ass. A decision to act nonintentionally allows us to resolve these cases without (...)
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  46. Acting on a Ground : Reasons, Rational Motivation, and Explanation.Magnus Frei - 2016 - Dissertation, Fribourg
    When someone does something for a reason, what are the reasons for which she does what she does? What is her ‘motivating reason’, as it is sometimes put? The simple answer is: it depends on what is meant by ‘motivating reason’. Non-Psychologists hold that motivating reasons are what the agent believes. I have shown that given that we understand ‘motivating reasons’ as what I term 'grounds', this is quite correct, as what we believe is what plays the role of a (...)
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  47. Wish, Motivation and the Human Good in Aristotle.Gösta Grönroos - 2015 - Phronesis 60 (1):60-87.
    _ Source: _Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 60 - 87 Aristotle invokes a specifically human desire, namely wish, to provide a teleological explanation of the pursuit of the specifically human good in terms of virtuous activity. Wish is a basic, unreasoned desire which, independently of other desires, or evaluative attitudes, motivates the pursuit of the human good. Even a person who pursues what she mistakenly believes to be good is motivated by wish for what in fact is good, although she (...)
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  48. Humean Externalism and the Argument from Depression.Steven Swartzer - 2015 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 9 (2):1-16.
    Several prominent philosophers have argued that the fact that depressed agents sometimes make moral judgments without being appropriately motivated supports Humean externalism – the view that moral motivation must be explained in terms of desires that are distinct from or “external” to an agent’s motivationally inert moral judgments. This essay argues that such motivational failures do not, in fact, provide evidence for this view. I argue that, if the externalist argument from depression is to undermine a philo-sophically important version of (...)
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  49. Inescapability and the Analysis of Agency.Philip Clark - 2014 - Abstracta 8 (S7):3-15.
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  50. Self-control, willpower and the problem of diminished motivation.Thomas D. Connor - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (3):783-796.
    Self-control has been described as the ability to master motivation that is contrary to one’s better judgement; that is, an ability that prevents such motivation from resulting in behaviour that is contrary to one’s overall better judgement (Mele, Irrationality: An essay on Akrasia, self-deception and self-control, p. 54, 1987). Recent discussions in philosophy have centred on the question of whether synchronic self-control, in which one exercises self-control whilst one is currently experiencing opposing motivation, is actional or non-actional. The actional theorist (...)
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