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Reasons From Within: Desires and Values

Oxford University Press (2009)

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  1. Well-Being and Experience.Alan H. Goldman - forthcoming - The Journal of Ethics:1-18.
    Robert Nozick argued that we would not plug into his machine that could give us any experiences we chose. More recently Richard Kraut has argued that it would be prudentially rational to plug into the machine, since only experiences count for personal welfare. I argue that both are wrong, that either choice can be rational or not, depending on the central desires of the subjects choosing. This claim is supported by the empirical evidence, which shows an almost even split between (...)
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  • The Disjunctive Hybrid Theory of Prudential Value: An Inclusive Approach to the Good Life.Joseph Van Weelden - 2018 - Dissertation, McGill University
    In this dissertation, I argue that all extant theories of prudential value are either a) enumeratively deficient, in that they are unable to accommodate everything that, intuitively, is a basic constituent of prudential value, b) explanatorily deficient, in that they are at least sometimes unable to offer a plausible story about what makes a given thing prudentially valuable, or c) both. In response to the unsatisfactory state of the literature, I present my own account, the Disjunctive Hybrid Theory or DHT. (...)
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  • Revenge is sweet.Joshua Gert - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (4):971-986.
    The first half of this paper defends the claim revenge is a personal good. That is, it is the sort of thing, the pursuit of which, for oneself, always provides a reason for action. This makes trouble for the dominant philosophical view of the relation between morality and practical reason: a view held by theorists we can call ‘Angels’. Angels hold that moral requirements are also rational requirements. Devils, on the other hand, hold that immoral behavior is at least sometimes (...)
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  • A Puzzle About Reasons and Rationality.Caj Strandberg - 2017 - The Journal of Ethics 21 (1):63-88.
    According to a guiding idea in metaethics, there is a necessary link between the concept of normative reasons and the concept of practical rationality. This notion brings up two issues: The exact nature of this link, and the nature of rationality. With regard to the first issue, the debate is dominated by a certain standard claim. With regard to the second issue, the debate is dominated by what I will refer to as ‘subjectivism’ and ‘objectivism’ about rationality, where the latter (...)
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  • Internalism and Hyperexternalism About Reasons.Joshua Gert - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (1):15-34.
    Alan Goldman’s Reasons from Within is one of the most thorough recent defenses of what might be called ‘orthodox internalism’ about practical reasons. Goldman’s main target is an opposing view that includes a commitment to the following two theses: (O) that there are such things as objective values, and (E) that these values give rise to external reasons. One version of this view, which we can call ‘orthodox externalism’, also includes a commitment to the thesis (I) that rational people will (...)
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  • The Value of Sacrifices.Jörg Löschke - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (3):399-418.
    ABSTRACTMost authors who discuss the normative impact of sacrifices do so with regards to the impact that a sacrifice can have on the practical reasons of the agent who makes it. A different and underappreciated phenomenon of sacrifices is their other-regarding normative impact: the sacrifice of person A can have an impact on the practical reasons of person B, either by generating practical reasons for B to act in certain ways or by intensifying existing reasons of B for specific courses (...)
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  • Recent Work on Internal and External Reasons.John Brunero - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (2):99-118.
    This paper examines some recent arguments for internalism that (i) appeal to an analogy between practical and theoretical reasons, (ii) look toward our practices of reasoning with others, or (iii) tie reasons to good deliberation. The conclusion of this paper is a skeptical one: none of these new arguments gives us sufficient reason to think that internalism is true.
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  • Desire and Value in Practical Reasoning.Peter Fossey - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Warwick
    Intentional actions are those which are performed because the subject sees something to be said for performing them; the subject sees performing the action “in a positive light”. Intentional actions are therefore susceptible to a distinctive kind of explanation, which explains them as intentional; that is, which accounts for them in terms of their unique property, of being performed because the subject sees that there is something to be said for doing so. Practical reasoning is the process of figuring out (...)
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  • A Defence of Sentiments: Emotions, Dispositions, and Character.Hichem Naar - unknown
    Contemporary emotion research typically takes the phenomenon of emotion to be exhausted by a class of mental events that are intentional, conscious, and related to certain sorts of behaviour. Moreover, other affective phenomena, such as moods, are also considered to be relatively short-term, episodic, or occurrent states of the subject undergoing them. Emotions, and other putative emotional phenomena that common-sense takes as long-lasting, non-episodic, or dispositional are things that both philosophers and scientists sometimes recognise, but that are relatively neglected in (...)
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  • Can the Aim of Belief Ground Epistemic Normativity?Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3181-3198.
    For many epistemologists and normativity theorists, epistemic norms necessarily entail normative reasons. Why or in virtue of what do epistemic norms have this necessary normative authority? According to what I call epistemic constitutivism, it is ultimately because belief constitutively aims at truth. In this paper, I examine various versions of the aim of belief thesis and argue that none of them can plausibly ground the normative authority of epistemic norms. I conclude that epistemic constitutivism is not a promising strategy for (...)
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  • Minds and Morals.Sarah Sawyer - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):393-408.
    In this paper, I argue that an externalist theory of thought content provides the means to resolve two debates in moral philosophy. The first—that between judgement internalism and judgement externalism—concerns the question of whether there is a conceptual connection between moral judgement and motivation. The second—that between reasons internalism and reasons externalism—concerns the relationship between moral reasons and an agent's subjective motivational set. The resolutions essentially stem from the externalist claim that concepts can be grasped partially, and a new moral (...)
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  • Defining Normativity.Stephen Finlay - 2019 - In Kevin Toh, David Plunkett & Scott Shapiro (eds.), Dimensions of Normativity: New Essays on Metaethics and Jurisprudence. Oxford University Press. pp. 62-104.
    This paper investigates whether different philosophers’ claims about “normativity” are about the same subject or (as recently argued by Derek Parfit) theorists who appear to disagree are really using the term with different meanings, in order to cast disambiguating light on the debates over at least the nature, existence, extension, and analyzability of normativity. While I suggest the term may be multiply ambiguous, I also find reasons for optimism about a common subject-matter for metanormative theory. This is supported partly by (...)
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  • "The Logic of the Liver". A Deontic View of the Intentionality of Desire.Federico Lauria - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Geneva
    Desires matter. 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: to desire a state is to positively evaluate it or to be disposed to act to realize it. This Ph.D. Dissertation examines these conceptions of desire and proposes a deontic alternative inspired by Meinong. On this view, desiring is representing a state of affairs as what ought to be or, if one prefers, (...)
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  • Normative Reasons: Response-Dependence and the Problem of Idealization.Marko Jurjako - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (3):261-275.
    David Enoch, in his paper “Why Idealize?”, argues that theories of normative reasons that hold that normative facts are subject or response-dependent and include an idealization condition might have a problem in justifying the need for idealization. I argue that at least some response-dependence conceptions of normative reasons can justify idealization. I explore two ways of responding to Enoch’s challenge. One way involves a revisionary stance on the ontological commitments of the normative discourse about reasons. To establish this point, I (...)
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  • Reasons Internalism and the Function of Normative Reasons.Neil Sinclair - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (2):209-229.
    What is the connection between reasons and motives? According to Reasons Internalism there is a non-trivial conceptual connection between normative reasons and the possibility of rationally accessing relevant motivation. Reasons Internalism is attractive insofar as it captures the thought that reasons are for reasoning with and repulsive insofar as it fails to generate sufficient critical distance between reasons and motives. Rather than directly adjudicate this dispute, I extract from it two generally accepted desiderata on theories of normative reasons and argue (...)
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  • Values, Agency, and Welfare.Jason R. Raibley - 2013 - Philosophical Topics 41 (1):187-214.
    The values-based approach to welfare holds that it is good for one to realize goals, activities, and relationships with which one strongly (and stably) identifies. This approach preserves the subjectivity of welfare while affirming that a life well lived must be active, engaged, and subjectively meaningful. As opposed to more objective theories, it is unified, naturalistic, and ontologically parsimonious. However, it faces objections concerning the possibility of self-sacrifice, disinterested and paradoxical values, and values that are out of sync with physical (...)
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  • The Nature of Desire.Federico Lauria & Julien 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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  • Just How Wide Should ‘Wide Reading’ Be?Martin Lipscomb - 2015 - Nursing Philosophy 16 (4):187-202.
    Educationalists introduce students to literature search strategies that,with rare exceptions, focus chiefly on the location of primary research reports and systematic reviews of those reports. These sources are, however, unlikely to adequately address the normative and/or metaphysical questions that nurses frequently and legitimately interest themselves in. To meet these interests, non-research texts exploring normative and/or metaphysical topics might and perhaps should, in some situations, be deemed suitable search targets. This seems plausible and, moreover, students are encouraged to ‘read widely’. Yet (...)
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  • Research Report Appraisal: How Much Understanding is Enough?Martin Lipscomb - 2014 - Nursing Philosophy 15 (3):157-170.
    When appraising research papers, how much understanding is enough? More specifically, in deciding whether research results can inform practice, do appraisers need to substantively understand how findings are derived or is it sufficient simply to grasp that suitable analytic techniques were chosen and used by researchers? The degree or depth of understanding that research appraisers need to attain before findings can legitimately/sensibly inform practice is underexplored. In this paper it is argued that, where knowledge/justified beliefs derived from research evidence prompt (...)
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  • Two Types of Epistemic Instrumentalism.Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5455-5475.
    Epistemic instrumentalism views epistemic norms and epistemic normativity as essentially involving the instrumental relation between means and ends. It construes notions like epistemic normativity, norms, and rationality, as forms of instrumental or means-end normativity, norms, and rationality. I do two main things in this paper. In part 1, I argue that there is an under-appreciated distinction between two independent types of epistemic instrumentalism. These are instrumentalism about epistemic norms and instrumentalism about epistemic normativity. In part 2, I argue that this (...)
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  • Happiness is an Emotion.Alan Goldman - 2017 - The Journal of Ethics 21 (1):1-16.
    Accounts of happiness in the philosophical literature see it as either a judgment of satisfaction with one’s life or as a balance of positive over negative feelings or emotional states. There are sound objections to both types of account, although each captures part of what happiness is. Seeing it as an emotion allows us to incorporate both features of the accounts thought to be incompatible. Emotions are analyzed as multicomponent states including judgments, feelings, physical symptoms, and behavioral dispositions. It is (...)
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  • Health and Well-Being.Jason Raibley - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (2):469-489.
    Eudaimonistic theorists of welfare have recently attacked conative accounts of welfare. Such accounts, it is claimed, are unable to classify states normally associated with physical and emotional health as non-instrumentally good and states associated with physical and psychological damage as non-instrumentally bad. However, leading eudaimonistic theories such as the self-fulfillment theory and developmentalism have problems of their own. Furthermore, conative theorists can respond to this challenge by dispositionalizing their theories, i.e., by saying that it is not merely the realization of (...)
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  • Reasons, Inescapability and Persuasion.Neil Sinclair - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (10):2823-2844.
    This paper outlines a new metasemantic theory of moral reason statements, focused on explaining how the reasons thus stated can be inescapable. The motivation for the theory is in part that it can explain this and other phenomena concerning moral reasons. The account also suggests a general recipe for explanations of conceptual features of moral reason statements. (Published with Open Access.).
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  • On the Connection Between Normative Reasons and the Possibility of Acting for Those Reasons.Neil Sinclair - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (5):1211-1223.
    According to Bernard Williams, if it is true that A has a normative reason to Φ then it must be possible that A should Φ for that reason. This claim is important both because it restricts the range of reasons which agents can have and because it has been used as a premise in an argument for so-called ‘internalist’ theories of reasons. In this paper I rebut an apparent counterexamples to Williams’ claim: Schroeder’s example of Nate. I argue that this (...)
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  • Fiction, Imagination, and Normative Rationality.Malvina Ongaro - 2020 - Argumenta 1 (6):135-146.
    -/- Rationality is a cornerstone of economics. The properties defining rationality are embodied by the Rational Agent, whose actions are prescriptive for economic agents. However, the Rational Agent is a fictional character: so why should real agents act like it? The Rational Agent takes its normative force from the arguments in support of the properties it embodies. In this paper, I explore the grounds for the normative force of the Rational Agent by looking at one of them. I explain the (...)
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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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  • Promotionalism, Motivationalism and Reasons to Perform Physically Impossible Actions.Neil Sinclair - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (5):647-659.
    In this paper I grant the Humean premise that some reasons for action are grounded in the desires of the agents whose reasons they are. I then consider the question of the relation between the reasons and the desires that ground them. According to promotionalism , a desire that p grounds a reason to φ insofar as A’s φing helps promote p . According to motivationalism a desire that p grounds a reason to φ insofar as it explains why, in (...)
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  • Time Biases.Alan H. Goldman - 2020 - Analysis 80 (2):388-397.
    Despite judging the central controversial thesis of this book false and arguments for it ultimately unconvincing, I highly recommend the book for its many philosophical virtues, prominent among them being breadth and clarity.1 1 Sullivan addresses all the major issues surrounding various time biases that decision-makers exhibit. Writing on topics that can often become overly technical, she spells her arguments out in the clearest prose, making the book ideal as an introduction to this interesting subdivision of practical reason, but also, (...)
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  • An Ecumenical Account of Categorical Moral Reasons.Caj Strandberg - 2019 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 16 (2):160-188.
    According to an influential way of understanding the debate between internalism and externalism about normative reasons, these theories confront us with a dilemma. Internalism is taken to involve a view about rationality which is considered less philosophically problematic than its competitors, whereas externalism is taken to suggest a more contentious view concerning this notion. However, the assumption that externalism involves a more demanding notion of rationality implies that it is able to account for categorical moral reasons, whereas internalism is unable (...)
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  • The Definition of Morality.Bernard Gert - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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