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  1. Yu in the Xunzi: Toward a Precise Understanding.Colin J. Lewis - 2018 - Asian Philosophy 28 (2):157-169.
    An ongoing dialogue in Xunzi scholarship addresses the role of yu (欲), often rendered as ‘desire,’ in motivation, but little has been said about what yu actually is, or whether the translation of ‘desire’ accurately reflects Xunzi’s use of the term. Employing textual analysis alongside research in cognitive science, most notably work on the so-called ‘wanting-liking’ distinction, I work toward a more precise understanding of Xunzi’s notion of yu and its functions. I suggest that yu be construed as a kind (...)
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  • Will as Commitment and Resolve: An Existential Account of Creativity, Love, Virtue, and Happiness.John J. Davenport - 2007 - Fordham University Press.
    In contemporary philosophy, the will is often regarded as a sheer philosophical fiction. In Will as Commitment and Resolve , Davenport argues not only that the will is the central power of human agency that makes decisions and forms intentions but also that it includes the capacity to generate new motivation different in structure from prepurposive desires. The concept of "projective motivation" is the central innovation in Davenport's existential account of the everyday notion of striving will. Beginning with the contrast (...)
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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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  • Desire.Timothy Schroeder - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1 (6):631-639.
    To desire is to be in a particular state of mind. It is a state of mind familiar to everyone who has ever wanted to drink water or desired to know what has happened to an old friend, but its familiarity does not make it easy to give a theory of desire. Controversy immediately breaks out when asking whether wanting water and desiring knowledge are, at bottom, the same state of mind as others that seem somewhat similar: wishing never to (...)
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  • The Natural History of Desire.David Spurrett - 2015 - South African Journal of Philosophy 34 (3):304-313.
    Sterelny (2003) develops an idealised natural history of folk-psychological kinds. He argues that belief-like states are natural elaborations of simpler control systems, called detection systems, which map directly from environmental cue to response. Belief-like states exhibit robust tracking (sensitivity to multiple environmental states), and response breadth (occasioning a wider range of behaviours). The development of robust tracking and response-breadth depend partly on properties of the informational environment. In a transparent environment the functional relevance of states of the world is directly (...)
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  • Praiseworthy Motivations.Zoë A. Johnson King - 2020 - Noûs 54 (2):408-430.
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  • Moral Motivation and the Affective Appeal.Jennifer Corns & Robert Cowan - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):71-94.
    Proponents of “the affective appeal” :787–812, 2014; Zagzebski in Philos Phenomenol Res 66:104–124, 2003) argue that we can make progress in the longstanding debate about the nature of moral motivation by appealing to the affective dimension of affective episodes such as emotions, which allegedly play either a causal or constitutive role in moral judgements. Specifically, they claim that appealing to affect vindicates a version of Motivational Internalism—roughly, the view that there is a necessary connection between moral judgment and motivation—that is (...)
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  • Propositional Attitudes.Timothy Schroeder - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (1):65-73.
    The propositional attitudes are attitudes such as believing and desiring, taken toward propositions such as the proposition that snow flurries are expected, or that the Prime Minister likes poutine. Collectively, our views about the propositional attitudes make up much of folk psychology, our everyday theory of how the mind works.
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  • Reasons to Desire and Desiring at Will.Victor M. Verdejo - 2017 - Metaphilosophy 48 (3):355-369.
    There is an unresolved conflict concerning the normative nature of desire. Some authors take rational desire to differ from rational belief in being a normatively unconstrained attitude. Others insist that rational desire seems plausibly subject to several consistency norms. This article argues that the correct analysis of this conflict of conative normativity leads us to acknowledge intrinsic and extrinsic reasons to desire. If sound, this point helps us to unveil a fundamental aspect of desire, namely, that we cannot desire at (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility and Tourette Syndrome.Timothy Schroeder - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (1):106–123.
    Philosophers generally assume that individuals with Tourette syndrome are not responsible for their Tourettic tics, and so not blameworthy for any harm their tics might cause. Yet this assumption is based largely on ignorance of the lived experience of Tourette syndrome. Individuals with Tourette syndrome often experience their tics as freely chosen and reason-responsive. Yet it still seems wrong to treat a Tourettic individual’s tic as on a moral par with others’ actions. In this paper, I examine the options and (...)
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  • Desire.Tim Schroeder - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (6):631–639.
    Desires move us to action, give us urges, incline us to joy at their satisfaction, and incline us to sorrow at their frustration. Naturalistic work on desire has focused on distinguishing which of these phenomena are part of the nature of desire, and which are merely normal consequences of desiring. Three main answers have been proposed. The first holds that the central necessary fact about desires is that they lead to action. The second makes pleasure the essence of desire. And (...)
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  • Interpersonal Comparisons with Preferences and Desires.Jacob Barrett - 2019 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 18 (3):219-241.
    Most moral and political theories require us to make interpersonal comparisons of welfare. This poses a challenge to the popular view that welfare consists in the satisfaction of preferences or des...
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  • A Solution to the Many Attitudes Problem.Bob Beddor - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2789-2813.
    According to noncognitivism, normative beliefs are just desire-like attitudes. While noncognitivists have devoted great effort to explaining the nature of normative belief, they have said little about all of the other attitudes we take towards normative matters. Many of us desire to do the right thing. We sometimes wonder whether our conduct is morally permissible; we hope that it is, and occasionally fear that it is not. This gives rise to what Schroeder calls the 'Many Attitudes Problem': the problem of (...)
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  • Empirical Work in Moral Psychology.Joshua May - 2017 - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Provides an overview of empirical research relevant to philosophical questions about moral thought, feeling, reasoning, and motivation. Topics include: free will and moral responsibility, egoism and altruism, moral judgment and motivation, weakness and strength of will, moral intuitions, and moral knowledge. [Originally published in 2012. Updated and expanded in 2017.].
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  • Psychological Egoism.Joshua May - 2011 - Internet Encyclopeida of Philosophy.
    Provides an overview of the theory of psychological egoism—the thesis that we are all ultimately motivated by self-interest. Philosophical arguments for and against the view are considered as well as some empirical evidence.
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  • The Causal Map and Moral Psychology.Timothy Schroeder - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (267):347-369.
    Some philosophers hold that the neuroscience of action is, in practice or in principle, incapable of touching debates in action theory and moral psychology. The role of desires in action, the existence of basic actions, and the like are topics that must be sorted out by philosophers alone: at least at present, and perhaps by the very nature of the questions. This paper examines both philosophical and empirical arguments against the relevance of neuroscience to such questions and argues that neither (...)
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  • Psychological and Evolutionary Evidence for Altruism.Alejandro Rosas - 2002 - Biology and Philosophy 17 (1):93-107.
    Sober and Wilson have recently claimed that evolutionary theory can do what neither philosophy nor experimental psychology have been able to, namely, "break the deadlock" in the egoism vs. altruism debate with an argument based on the reliability of altruistic motivation. I analyze both their reliability argument and the experimental evidence of social psychology in favor of altruism in terms of the folk-psychological "laws" and inference patterns underlying them, and conclude that they both rely on the same patterns. I expose (...)
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  • Butler’s Argument Against Psychological Hedonism.Robert M. Stewart - 1992 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 22 (2):211-221.
    It is widely thought among philosophers that Joseph Butler's criticism of psychological egoism in his Sermons is, in the words of A.E. Duncan-Jones, 'the classic refutation of it.' Indeed, no less a philosopher than David Hume restated and put forth Butler's central argument against hedonistic egoism - without due credit - as part of his own critique. Yet recent commentators have begun to question Butler's arguments, albeit usually with sympathy and in the hope of saving what they take to be (...)
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  • What Does Decision Theory Have to Do with Wanting?Milo Phillips-Brown - 2021 - Mind 130 (518):413-437.
    Decision theory and folk psychology both purport to represent the same phenomena: our belief-like and desire- and preference-like states. They also purport to do the same work with these representations: explain and predict our actions. But they do so with different sets of concepts. There's much at stake in whether one of these two sets of concepts can be accounted for with the other. Without such an account, we'd have two competing representations and systems of prediction and explanation, a dubious (...)
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  • Reward Event Systems: Reconceptualizing the Explanatory Roles of Motivation, Desire and Pleasure.Carolyn R. Morillo - 1992 - Philosophical Psychology 5 (1):7-32.
    A developing neurobiological/psychological theory of positive motivation gives a key causal role to reward events in the brain which can be directly activated by electrical stimulation (ESB). In its strongest form, this Reward Event Theory (RET) claims that all positive motivation, primary and learned, is functionally dependent on these reward events. Some of the empirical evidence is reviewed which either supports or challenges RET. The paper examines the implications of RET for the concepts of 'motivation', 'desire' and 'reward' or 'pleasure'. (...)
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  • Preferences Vs. Desires: Debating the Fundamental Structure of Conative States.Armin W. Schulz - 2015 - Economics and Philosophy 31 (2):239-257.