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  1. Acting on Knowledge-How.Timothy Williamson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6).
    The paper explains how to integrate the knowledge-first approach to epistemology with the intellectualist thesis that knowing-how is a kind of knowing-that, with emphasis on their role in practical reasoning. One component of this integration is a belief-based account of desire.
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  • Emotional Actions Without Goals.Isaac Wiegman - 2022 - 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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  • A New Defense of the Motive of Duty Thesis.Benjamin Wald - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (5):1163-1179.
    According to the Motive of Duty Thesis, a necessary condition for an action to have moral worth is that it be motivated at least in part by a normative assessment of the action. However, this thesis has been subject to two powerful objections. It has been accused of over-intellectualizing moral agency, and of giving the wrong verdict when it comes to people who hold false moral theories that convince them that their actions are in fact morally wrong. I argue that (...)
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  • Why Change Your Beliefs Rather Than Your Desires? Two Puzzles.Olav Benjamin Vassend - 2021 - Analysis 81 (2):275-281.
    In standard decision theory, the probability function ought to be updated in light of evidence, but the utility function generally stays fixed. However, there is nothing in the formal theory that prevents one from instead updating the utility function, while keeping the probability function fixed. Moreover, there are good arguments for updating the utilities and not just the probabilities. Hence, the first puzzle is whether there is anything that justifies updating beliefs, but not desires, in light of evidence. The paper (...)
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  • Anti-Intellectualism, Instructive Representations, and the Intentional Action Argument.Alison Ann Springle & Justin Humphreys - 2021 - Synthese (3-4):7919-7955.
    Intellectualists hold that knowledge-how is a species of knowledge-that, and consequently that the knowledge involved in skill is propositional. In support of this view, the intentional action argument holds that since skills manifest in intentional action and since intentional action necessarily depends on propositional knowledge, skills necessarily depend on propositional knowledge. We challenge this argument, and suggest that instructive representations, as opposed to propositional attitudes, can better account for an agent’s reasons for action. While a propositional-causal theory of action, according (...)
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  • A Tripartite Theory of Love.Sam Shpall - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (2).
    Offers a conception of love and why it is meaningful.
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  • Epistemic Instrumentalism and the Reason to Believe in Accord with the Evidence.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2018 - Synthese 195 (9):3791-3809.
    Epistemic instrumentalists face a puzzle. In brief, the puzzle is that if the reason there is to believe in accord with the evidence depends, as the instrumentalist says it does, on agents’ idiosyncratic interests, then there is no reason to expect that this reason is universal. Here, I identify and explain two strategies instrumentalists have used to try and solve this puzzle. I then argue that we should find these strategies wanting. Faced with the failure of these strategies, I articulate (...)
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  • Obeying the Law.Michael Sevel - 2018 - Legal Theory 24 (3):191-215.
    ABSTRACTWhat is it to obey the law? What is it to disobey? Philosophers have paid little attention to these questions. Yet the concepts of obedience and disobedience have long grounded many perennial debates in moral, legal, and political philosophy. In this essay, I develop systematic accounts of each concept. The Standard View of obedience—that to obey the law is to act for a certain sort of reason provided by the law—has long been taken for granted. I argue against this and (...)
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  • Rationality as the Capacity for Understanding.Karl Schafer - 2019 - Noûs 53 (3):639-663.
    In this essay, I develop and defend a virtue-theoretic conception of rationality as a capacity whose function is understanding, as opposed to mere truth or correctness. I focus on two main potential advantages of this view. First, its ability to explain the rationality of forms of explanatory reasoning, and second, its ability to offer a more unified account of theoretical and practical rationality.
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  • Refitting the mirrors: on structural analogies in epistemology and action theory.Lisa Miracchi & J. Adam Carter - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-28.
    Structural analogies connect Williamson’s epistemology and action theory: for example, action is the direction-of-fit mirror image of knowledge, and knowledge stands to belief as action stands to intention. These structural analogies, for Williamson, are meant to illuminate more generally how ‘mirrors’ reversing direction of fit should be understood as connecting the spectrum of our cognitive and practically oriented mental states. This paper has two central aims, one negative and the other positive. The negative aim is to highlight some intractable problems (...)
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  • Why Consequentialism’s "Compelling Idea" Is Not.Paul Hurley - 2017 - Social Theory and Practice 43 (1):29-54.
    Many consequentialists take their theory to be anchored by a deeply intuitive idea, the “Compelling Idea” that it is always permissible to promote the best outcome. I demonstrate that this Idea is not, in fact, intuitive at all either in its agent-neutral or its evaluator-relative form. There are deeply intuitive ideas concerning the relationship of deontic to telic evaluation, but the Compelling Idea is at best a controversial interpretation of such ideas, not itself one of them. Because there is no (...)
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  • Consequentialism and the Standard Story of Action.Paul Hurley - 2018 - The Journal of Ethics 22 (1):25-44.
    I challenge the common picture of the “Standard Story” of Action as a neutral account of action within which debates in normative ethics can take place. I unpack three commitments that are implicit in the Standard Story, and demonstrate that these commitments together entail a teleological conception of reasons, upon which all reasons to act are reasons to bring about states of affairs. Such a conception of reasons, in turn, supports a consequentialist framework for the evaluation of action, upon which (...)
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  • A State of Besire.Iskra Fileva - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (5):1973-1979.
    I argue that there is at least one genuine state of besire.
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  • A Metaphysics for Practical Knowledge.Kim Frost - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (3):314-340.
    Is Anscombean practical knowledge independent of what the agent actually does on an occasion? Failure to understand Anscombe’s answer to this question is a major obstacle to appreciating the subtlety and plausibility of her view. I argue that Anscombe’s answer is negative, and turns on the nature of mistakes in performance, and reveals a distinctive implicit metaphysics of mind and knowledge, structured by related capacities and exercises of capacities. If my interpretation is correct, then practical knowledge shares features with knowledge-how (...)
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  • Intending, Acting, and Doing.Luca Ferrero - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (sup2):13-39.
    I argue that intending and acting belong to the same genus: intending is a kind of doing continuous in structure with intentional acting. Future-directed intending is not a truly separate phenomenon from either the intending in action or the acting itself. Ultimately, all intentions are in action, or better still, in extended courses of action. I show how the intuitive distinction between intending and acting is based on modeling the two phenomena on the extreme and limiting cases of an otherwise (...)
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  • An Epistemology for Practical Knowledge.Lucy Campbell - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (2):159-177.
    Anscombe thought that practical knowledge – a person’s knowledge of what she is intentionally doing – displays formal differences to ordinary empirical, or ‘speculative’, knowledge. I suggest these differences rest on the fact that practical knowledge involves intention analogously to how speculative knowledge involves belief. But this claim conflicts with the standard conception of knowledge, according to which knowledge is an inherently belief-involving phenomenon. Building on John Hyman’s account of knowledge as the ability to use a fact as a reason, (...)
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  • Agency and Observation in Knowledge of One's Own Thinking.Casey Doyle - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (1):148-161.
    This essay addresses the question how we know our conscious thinking. Conscious thinking typically takes the form of a series of discrete episodes that constitute a complex cognitive activity. We must distinguish the discrete episodes of thinking in which a particular content is represented in phenomenal consciousness and is present “before the mind’s eye” from the extended activities of which these episodes form a part. The extended activities are themselves contentful and we have first-person access to them. But because their (...)
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  • The Source of Epistemic Normativity: Scientific Change as an Explanatory Problem.Thodoris Dimitrakos - 2021 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 51 (5):469-506.
    In this paper, I present the problem of scientific change as an explanatory problem, that is, as a philosophical problem concerning what logical forms of explanation we should employ in order to un...
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  • Trust and Trustworthiness.J. Adam Carter - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    A widespread assumption in debates about trust and trustworthiness is that the evaluative norms of principal interest on the trustor’s side of a cooperative exchange regulate trusting attitudes and performances whereas those on the trustee’s side regulate dispositions to respond to trust. The aim here will be to highlight some unnoticed problems with this asymmetrical picture – and in particular, how it elides certain key evaluative norms on both the trustor’s and trustee’s side the satisfaction of which are critical to (...)
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  • Directive Content.Patrick Butlin - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102:2-26.
    Representations may have descriptive content, directive content, or both, but little explicit attention has been given to the problem of distinguishing representations of these three kinds. We do not know, for instance, what determines whether a given representation is a directive instructing its consumer to perform some action or has descriptive content to the effect that the action in question has a certain value. This paper considers what it takes for a representation to have directive content. The first part of (...)
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  • Reconceiving Direction of Fit.Avery Archer - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (3):171-180.
    I argue that the concept of direction of fit is best seen as picking out a certain inferential property of a psychological attitude. The property in question is one that believing shares with assuming and fantasizing and fails to share with desire. Unfortunately, the standard analysis of DOF obscures this fact because it conflates two very different properties of an attitude: that in virtue of which it displays a certain DOF, and that in virtue of which it displays certain revision (...)
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  • The Nature of Desire.Federico Lauria & Julien A. Deonna (eds.) - 2017 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Desires matter. What are desires? Many believe that desire is a motivational state: desiring is being disposed to act. This conception aligns with the functionalist approach to desire and the standard account of desire's role in explaining action. According to a second influential approach, however, desire is first and foremost an evaluation: desiring is representing something as good. After all, we seem to desire things under the guise of the good. Which understanding of desire is more accurate? Is the guise (...)
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  • Intention.Kieran Setiya - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Philosophical perplexity about intention begins with its appearance in three guises: intention for the future, as when I intend to complete this entry by the end of the month; the intention with which someone acts, as I am typing with the further intention of writing an introductory sentence; and intentional action, as in the fact that I am typing these words intentionally. As Elizabeth Anscombe wrote in a similar context, ‘it is implausible to say that the word is equivocal as (...)
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  • Belief.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2006 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Moral Sentimentalism.Anttin D. Kauppinen - 2014 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe.Julia Driver - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • La philosophie retrouvée: réalisme moral et embarras philosophique.Jean-Baptiste Bontemps - 2021 - Dissertation, Université de Lorraine
    The philosophical path that I propose finds its origin in a properly metaethical questioning. It was first of all a question about the meaning of our moral statements by considering a defense of some kind of moral realism according to which our moral judgments would refer to a “moral reality” which would make it possible to determine their truth or their falsity. However, the realistic interpretation of moral judgments poses many difficulties from a psychological, an ontological and an epistemological point (...)
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  • Defending the Motivational Theory of Desire.David Pineda Oliva - forthcoming - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science.
    In this paper I offer a defense of the motivational theory of desire. According to the motivational view, a desire is basically a disposition to bring about the desire's content. First, I argue that two rival views on the nature of desire, the evaluative theory and the deontic theory, fall prey to the problem of the death of desire and that, when one tries to develop a plausible version of these theories which is able to overcome this problem, one ends (...)
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  • Ethical Judgment and Motivation.David Faraci & Tristram McPherson - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 308-323.
    This chapter explores the relationship between ethical judgement writ large (as opposed to merely moral judgement) and motivation. We discuss arguments for and against views on which ethical judgement entails motivation, either alone or under conditions of rationality or normalcy, either at the individual or community level.
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  • Meaning and Emotion.Constant Bonard - 2021 - Dissertation, Université de Genève
    This dissertation may be divided into two parts. The first part is about the Extended Gricean Model of information transmission. This model, introduced here, is meant to better explain how humans communicate and understand each other. It has been developed to apply to cases that were left unexplained by the two main models of communication found in contemporary philosophy and linguistics, i.e. the Gricean model and the code model. In particular, I show that these latter two models cannot apply to (...)
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  • Intentionality and Perception: A Study of John Searle’s Philosophy.Anar Jafarov - 2019 - Dissertation, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
    My aim in this research is to study the philosophical problems of intentionality and perception by critically analyzing the relevant ideas from John Searle’s works, and also to attempt to give solutions to some of these problems. I try to elucidate Searle's theory of intentionality and his way of assimilating the problems of perception into this theory, and investigate the plausibility of his corresponding ideas in the context of ongoing debates.
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  • Introduction. Reconsidering Some Dogmas About Desire.Federico Lauria & Julien Deonna - 2017 - In Federico Lauria & Julien Deonna (eds.), The Nature of Desire. New York: Oxford University Press.
    Desire has not been at the center of recent preoccupations in the philosophy of mind. Consequently, the literature settled into several dogmas. The first part of this introduction presents these dogmas and invites readers to scrutinize them. The main dogma is that desires are motivational states. This approach contrasts with the other dominant conception: desires are positive evaluations. But there are at least four other dogmas: the world should conform to our desires (world-to-mind direction of fit), desires involve a positive (...)
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  • 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.
    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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  • Rationalization and the Ross Paradox.Benj Hellie - 2016 - In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press. pp. 283--323.
    'Post this letter!' does not entail 'Post this letter or drink up my wine!' (the Ross Paradox) because one can be in a state with the content of the former without being in a state with the content of the latter; in turn, because the latter can rationalize drinking up my wine but the former cannot; in turn, because practical rationalization flows toward one's present situation, in contrast with the flow of theoretical rationalization from one's present situation. Formally, this is (...)
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