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  1. A Defence of a Rationalist Conception of Practical Reason.Gal Yehezkel - 2017 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 13 (1):39-57.
    In this paper I attempt to refute the instrumental conception of practical reason, and thus defend a rationalist conception of practical reason. I argue that, far from merely playing an instrumental role, reason can be used by an agent to evaluate, that is, to approve or reject, final ends, which might be suggested by desires, and further to determine final ends independently of any desires, whether actual or potential, that the agent might have. My argument relies on an analysis of (...)
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  • Desire-Based Theories of Reasons and the Guise of the Good.Kael McCormack - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    I propose an account of desire that reconciles two apparently conflicting intuitions about practical agency. I do so by exploring a certain intuitive datum. The intuitive datum is that often when an agent desires P she will seem to immediately and conclusively know that there is a reason to bring P about. Desire-based theories of reasons seem uniquely placed to explain this intuitive datum. On this view, desires are the source of an agent’s practical reasons. A desire for P grounds (...)
     
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  • Con-Reasons and the Causal Theory of Action.Jonathan D. Payton - 2015 - Philosophical Explorations 18 (1):20-33.
    A con-reason is a reason which plays a role in motivating and explaining an agent's behaviour, but which the agent takes to count against the course of action taken. Most accounts of motivating reasons in the philosophy of action do not allow such things to exist. In this essay, I pursue two aims. First, I argue that, whatever metaphysical story we tell about the relation between motivating reasons and action, con- reasons need to be acknowledged, as they play an explanatory (...)
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  • Motivation to the Means.Stephen Finlay - 2008 - In David Chan (ed.), Moral Psychology Today: Values, Rational Choice, and the Will. pp. 173-191.
    Rationalists including Nagel and Korsgaard argue that motivation to the means to our desired ends cannot be explained by appeal to the desire for the end. They claim that a satisfactory explanation of this motivational connection must appeal to a faculty of practical reason motivated in response to desire-independent norms of reason. This paper builds on ideas in the work of Hume and Donald Davidson to demonstrate how the desire for the end is sufficient for explaining motivation to the means. (...)
     
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  • A Puzzle for Evaluation Theories of Desire.Alex Grzankowski - 2021 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 10 (2):90-98.
    How we evaluate things and what we desire are closely connected. In typical cases, the things we desire are things that we evaluate as good or desirable. According to evaluation theories of desire, this connection is a very tight one: desires are evaluations of their objects as good or as desirable. There are two main varieties of this view. According to Doxastic Evaluativism, to desire that p is to believe or judge that p is good. According to Perceptual Evaluativism, to (...)
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  • A Disjunctive Account of Desire.Kael McCormack - 2022 - Dissertation, University of New South Wales
    This thesis motivates a novel account of desire as the best explanation of an intuitive datum. The intuitive datum is that often when an agent desires P she will immediately, outright know that she has a reason to bring P about. Existing explanations of the intuitive datum cannot simultaneously satisfy two desiderata. We want to explain how desires enable outright knowledge of reasons and also explain the fallibility of desires. Existing views satisfy the first desideratum at the expense of the (...)
     
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  • Écueils des Théories de la Rationalité.J. Nicolas Kaufmann - 1999 - Dialogue 38 (4):801-826.
    Un grand nombre de problèmes dont traite aujourd'hui la théorie de la décision reposent sur des problématiques qui appartiennent à des approches philosophiques, méthodologiques et théoriques fort différentes et dont l'auteur de Choix rationnel et vie publique déplore à juste titre l'absence d'unité intrinsèqueEn effet, les racines de la théorie contemporaine du choix rationnel ont des ramifications dans trois traditions philosophiques qui ont été maintenues sans entretenir de contacts: théories philosophiques de l'action d'Aristote à Hume, à Kant et à la (...)
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  • Hutcheson's Contributions to Action Theory.Elizabeth S. Radcliffe - 2022 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 20 (2):103-120.
    Jonathan Dancy charges that Hutcheson's distinction between justifying reasons and motivating reasons is unimportant: it is simply between moral reasons and other good reasons. I argue that the distinction is between propositions with different presuppositions and different functions. One identifies qualities of objects that we desire; the other identifies qualities that we approve. I situate Hutcheson in the current debate about the nature of practical reasons. I argue that he avoids problems posed for factivists and for Humeans. On Hutcheson's view, (...)
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  • Lacking, Needing, and Wanting.David Hunter - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    In this paper I offer a novel conception of the nature of wanting. According to it, wanting is simply lacking something one needs. Lacking has no direct connection to goodness but needing does, and that is how goodness figures in to wanting. What a thing needs derives from what it is to be a good thing of its kind. In people, wanting is connected to both knowledge and choice, since a person can know that she wants something and can act (...)
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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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  • Appetitive Besires and the Fuss About Fit.Steven Swartzer - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):975-988.
    Some motivational cognitivists believe that there are besires—cognitive mental states (typically moral beliefs) that share the key feature of desire (typically desire’s ‘direction of fit’) in virtue of which they are capable of being directly motivational. Besires have been criticized by Humeans and cognitivists alike as philosophically extravagant, incoherent, ad hoc, and incompatible with folk psychology. I provide a response to these standard objections to besires—one motivated independently of common anti-Humean intuitions about the motivational efficacy of moral judgments. I proceed (...)
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  • What Are Theories of Desire Theories Of?Tamar Schapiro - 2014 - Analytic Philosophy 55 (2):131-150.
    In this paper I try to undermine complacency with a predominant conception of desire, for the sake of refocusing attention on a philosophical problem. The predominant conception holds that to have a desire is to occupy an evaluative outlook, a perspective from which the agent 'sees' the world in practically salient terms. I argue that it is not clear what this theory is a theory of, because the concept of desire at its center is deeply ambiguous. Understood as a theory (...)
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  • Desires, Values and Norms.Olivier Massin - 2017 - In Federico Lauria & Julien Deonna (eds.), The Nature of Desire. Oxford University Press.
    The thesis defended, the “guise of the ought”, is that the formal objects of desires are norms (oughts to be or oughts to do) rather than values (as the “guise of the good” thesis has it). It is impossible, in virtue of the nature of desire, to desire something without it being presented as something that ought to be or that one ought to do. This view is defended by pointing to a key distinction between values and norms: positive and (...)
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  • Free Will.Timothy O'Connor & Christopher Evan Franklin - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    “Free Will” is a philosophical term of art for a particular sort of capacity of rational agents to choose a course of action from among various alternatives. Which sort is the free will sort is what all the fuss is about. (And what a fuss it has been: philosophers have debated this question for over two millenia, and just about every major philosopher has had something to say about it.) Most philosophers suppose that the concept of free will is very (...)
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  • A Humean Explanation of Acting on Normative Reasons.Elizabeth S. Radcliffe - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1269-1292.
    This article presents a limited defense of Humeanism about practical reason. Jonathan Dancy and other traditional objective-reasons theorists argue that all practical reasons, what we think about when we deliberate, are facts or states of affairs in the world. On the Humean view, the reasons that motivate us are belief-desire combinations, which are in the mind. Thus, Dancy and others reject Humeanism on the grounds that it cannot allow that anyone acts from a normative reason. I argue, first, that this (...)
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  • The Conceptual Foundation of Morality.Gal Yehezkel - 2021 - Springer.
    This book offers a solution to the ancient philosophical problem regarding the nature and the justification of morality. The importance of this subject matter is obvious, not merely as an abstract philosophical problem, but perhaps even more as a practical challenge, regarding the way we ought to live our lives: the values that ought to direct us, and the ends that we ought to pursue. -/- In the course of this inquiry, a wide array of philosophical topics is explored: the (...)
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  • Which Desires Are Relevant to Well‐Being?Chris Heathwood - 2019 - Noûs 53 (3):664-688.
    The desire-satisfaction theory of well-being says, in its simplest form, that a person’s level of welfare is determined by the extent to which their desires are satisfied. A question faced by anyone attracted to such a view is, *Which desires*? This paper proposes a new answer to this question by characterizing a distinction among desires that isn’t much discussed in the well-being literature. This is the distinction between what a person wants in a merely behavioral sense, in that the person (...)
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  • Attributivism.Casey Sean Elliott - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham
    This is a thesis in three parts. It concerns the normative capacity of attributive goodness. Specifically, it critically evaluates Attributivism, the theory that attributive goodness is fundamentally normative, or that the distribution of that property determines when, whether, and in what way agents ought to act. The first third develops, refines and defends Attributivism. Doing so is, in part, a ground-clearing exercise. I distil that theory from the arguments of many other philosophers. In doing so I isolate and precisify its (...)
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  • Free Will and Agency at its Best.Gideon Yaffe - 2000 - Philosopical Perspectives 14 (s14):203-230.
  • Against Strong Cognitivism: An Argument From the Particularity of Love.Hilla Jacobson - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (3):563-596.
    According to the view we may term “strong cognitivism”, all reasons for action are rooted in normative features that the motivated subject takes objects to have independently of her attitudes towards these objects. The main concern of this paper is to argue against strong cognitivism, that is, to establish the view that conative attitudes do provide subjects with reasons for action. The central argument to this effect is a top-down argument: it proceeds by an analysis of the complex phenomenon of (...)
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  • Desire Considered as a Propositional Attitude.William G. Lycan - 2012 - Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):201-215.
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  • Wanting and Willing.Eric Marcus - 2021 - 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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  • Identifying with Our Desires.Christian Miller - 2013 - Theoria 79 (2):127-154.
    A number of philosophers have become convinced that the best way of trying to understand human agency is by arriving at an account of identification. My goal here is not to criticize particular views about identification, but rather to examine several assumptions which have been widely held in the literature and yet which, in my view, render implausible any account of identification that takes them on board. In particular, I argue that typically identification does not involve either reflective consideration of (...)
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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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  • Motivation in Agents.Christian Miller - 2008 - Noûs 42 (2):222–266.
    The Humean theory of motivation remains the default position in much of the contemporary literature in meta-ethics, moral psychology, and action theory. Yet despite its widespread support, the theory is implausible as a view about what motivates agents to act. More specifically, my reasons for dissatisfaction with the Humean theory stem from its incompatibility with what I take to be a compelling model of the role of motivating reasons in first-person practical deliberation and third-person action explanations. So after first introducing (...)
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  • Desire and Serendipity.Ronald Sousa - 1998 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 22 (1):120-134.
  • Objective Reasons.Michael Pendlebury - 2007 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (4):533-563.
    In order to establish that judgments about practical reasons can be objective, it is necessary to show that the applicable standards provide an adequate account of truth and error. This in turn requires that these standards yield an extensive set of substantive, publicly accessible judgments that are presumptively true. This output requirement is not satisfied by the standards of universalizability, consistency, coherence, and caution alone. But it is satisfied if we supplement them with the principle that desire is a source (...)
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  • Explaining Synchronic Self-Control.Jing Zhu - 2005 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 43 (3):475-492.
  • Mental Illness, Motivation and Moral Commitment.John Russell Roberts - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (202):41-59.
    I present a dilemma which depressive behavioral pathology poses for both Humean and non-Humean theories of motivation and value. Although the dilemma shows that neither theory can be considered adequate in its standard form, I argue that if the Humean theory is modified so as to embrace a richer notion of satisfaction than it currently does, it can solve the problem which depression poses for it and, thus, the dilemma can be avoided. Embracing a richer notion of satisfaction not only (...)
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  • Belief-Desire Explanation.Nikolaj Nottelmann - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (12):912-921.
    Theses claiming a constitutive or necessary role for belief-desire pairs in the rationalizing, motivation or explanation of action, are generally known as Humean. The main purpose of this short paper is clearly to present the basic versions of Humeanism and lay bare their commitments and interrelations in preparation for a short general introduction to the debate over belief-desire explanation of action. After this, some influential arguments for and against a Humean account of action explanation are briefly discussed.
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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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  • 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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  • How to Defend the Phenomenology of Attitudes.Jared Peterson - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2609-2629.
    This paper develops a novel defense of the non-sensory phenomenology of desires, and more broadly, of attitudes. I argue that the way to defend this type of phenomenology is to: offer a defense of the view that attitudes are states that realize the causal role of attitude types and argue that what realizes the causal role of attitudes are, in certain cases, states that possess non-sensory phenomenology. I carry out this approach with respect to desires by developing the view that (...)
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  • Why Hunger is Not a Desire.Patrick Butlin - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (3):617-635.
    This paper presents an account of the nature of desire, informed by psychology and neuroscience, which entails that hunger is not a desire. The account is contrasted with Schroeder’s well-known empirically-informed theory of desire. It is argued that one significant virtue of the present account, in comparison with Schroeder’s theory, is that it draws a sharp distinction between desires and basic drives, such as the drive for food. One reason to draw this distinction is that experiments on incentive learning show (...)
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  • The Communicative Significance of Beliefs and Desires.Uku Tooming - 2014 - Dissertation, Universitatis Tartunesis
    When we think about what others believe and want, we are usually affected by what we know about their attitudes. If I’m aware that another person believes something, I have an opportunity to agree or disagree with it. If I think that another person wants something, I can endorse or disapprove of her desire. The importance of such reactions to attributed beliefs and desires has thus far been overlooked in philosophy of mind where the focus has been on explanatory and (...)
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  • What Desires Are, and Are Not.Alan H. Goldman - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (2):333-352.
    This paper criticizes the account of desire defended by Nomy Arpaly and Timothy Schroeder in their recent book, In Praise of Desire. It contrasts their account with one that I favor, a cluster analysis listing various criteria that are together sufficient for having paradigm desires, but none of which is necessary or sufficient for desiring. I argue that their account fails to state necessary or sufficient conditions, that it is explanatorily weaker than the cluster account, that it fails to provide (...)
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  • Hjumovska teorija motivacije: u obranu dogme.Matej Sušnik - 2012 - Prolegomena 11 (1):83-105.
    Prema hjumovskoj teoriji motivacije, motivacijski se proces sastoji od dva međusobno nezavisna mentalna stanja , što znači da subjekt ne može biti u potpunosti motiviran na djelovanje ako mu jedno od tih stanja nedostaje. U prvom dijelu članka prikazujem središnja obilježja ove teorije, a potom pokazujem da prihvaćanje Humeove distinkcije između divljih i tihih strasti može biti vrlo koristan alat za obranu ovog modela od nekih standardnih prigovora.
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  • Explaining Motivated Desires.Peter W. Ross - 2002 - Topoi 21 (1-2):199-207.
    I examine a dispute about the nature of practical reason, and in particular moral reason, generated by Thomas Nagel's proposal of an internalist rationalism which claims we can explain motivation in terms of reason and belief alone. In opposition, Humeans contend that such explanations must also appeal to further desires. Arguments on either side of this debate typically assume that a rationalist or Humean conclusion can be reached independently of a claim about the nature of moral judgment. I'll maintain, to (...)
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  • Foregrounding Desire: A Defense of Kant’s Incorporation Thesis.Tamar Schapiro - 2011 - The Journal of Ethics 15 (3):147-167.
    In this paper I defend Kant’s Incorporation Thesis, which holds that we must “incorporate” our incentives into our maxims if we are to act on them. I see this as a thesis about what is necessary for a human being to make the transition from ‘having a desire’ to ‘acting on it’. As such, I consider the widely held view that ‘having a desire’ involves being focused on the world, and not on ourselves or on the desire. I try to (...)
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  • Reasons and Psychological Causes.Wayne A. Davis - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 122 (1):51 - 101.
    The causal theory of reasons holds that acting for a reason entails that the agents action was caused by his or her beliefs and desires. While Donald Davidson (1963) and others effectively silenced the first objections to the theory, a new round has emerged. The most important recent attack is presented by Jonathan Dancy in Practical Reality (2000) and subsequent work. This paper will defend the causal theory against Dancy and others, including Schueler (1995), Stoutland (1999, 2001), and Ginet (2002).Dancy (...)
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  • Investigating the Other Side of Agency: A Cross-Disciplinary Approach to Intentional Omissions.Kaisa Kärki - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Jyväskylä
    This study develops conceptual means in philosophy of agency to better and more systematically address intentional omissions of agents, including those that are about resisting the action not done. I argue that even though philosophy of agency has largely concentrated on the actions of agents, when applying philosophy of action to the social sciences, a full-blown theoretical account of what agents do not do and a non-normative conceptual language of the phenomena in question is needed. Chapter 2 aims to find (...)
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  • Präferenzen, Nutzen und ihre Aggregation.Christoph Lumer - 2021 - In Christian Hiebaum (ed.), Interdisziplinäres Handbuch "Gemeinwohl". Wiesbaden, Germany: Springer Fachmedien. pp. 1-18.
    Desire', 'preference', 'utility', '(utility-aggregating) moral desirability' are terms that build on each other in this order. The article follows this definitional structure and presents these terms and their justifications. The aim is to present welfare-ethical criteria of the common good that define 'moral desirability' as an aggregation, e.g. addition, of individual utility: utilitarianism, utility egalitarianism, leximin, prioritarianism.
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  • Desire and What It’s Rational to Do.Ashley Shaw - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (4):761-775.
    ABSTRACT It is often taken for granted that our desires can contribute to what it is rational for us to do. This paper examines an account of desire—the ‘guise of the good’— that promises an explanation of this datum. I argue that extant guise-of-the-good accounts fail to provide an adequate explanation of how a class of desires—basic desires—contributes to practical rationality. I develop an alternative guise-of-the-good account on which basic desires attune us to our reasons for action in virtue of (...)
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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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  • The Rational Significance of Desire.Avery Archer - 2013 - Dissertation, Columbia University
    My dissertation addresses the question "do desires provide reasons?" I present two independent lines of argument in support of the conclusion that they do not. The first line of argument emerges from the way I circumscribe the concept of a desire. Complications aside, I conceive of a desire as a member of a family of attitudes that have imperative content, understood as content that displays doability-conditions rather than truth-conditions. Moreover, I hold that an attitude may provide reasons only if it (...)
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  • Desires Without Guises: Why We Need Not Value What We Want.Sabine Döring & Bahadir Eker - forthcoming - In Julien Deonna & Federico Lauria (eds.), The Nature of Desire. Oxford University Press.
    Evaluativism about desire, the view that desires just are, or necessarily involve, positive evaluations of their objects, currently enjoys widespread popularity in many philosophical circles. This chapter argues that evaluativism, in both of its doxastic and perceptual versions, overstates and mischaracterises the connection between desires and evaluations. Whereas doxastic evaluativism implausibly rules out cases where someone has a desire, despite evaluating its object negatively, being uncertain about its value, or having no doxastic attitude whatsoever towards its evaluative status at all, (...)
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  • Brentano’s Evaluative-Attitudinal Account of Will and Emotion.Uriah Kriegel - 2017 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 142 (4):529-548.
    In contemporary analytic philosophy of mind, Franz Brentano is known mostly for his thesis that intentionality is ‘the mark of the mental.’ Among Brentano scholars, there are also lively debates on his theory of consciousness and his theory of judgment. Brentano’s theory of will and emotion is less widely discussed, even within the circles of Brentano scholarship. In this paper, I want to show that this is a missed opportunity, certainly for Brentano scholars but also for contemporary philosophy of mind. (...)
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  • Divine Desire Theory and Obligation.Christian Miller - 2009 - In Yujin Nagasawa & Erik J. Wielenberg (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Religion. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 105--24.
    Thanks largely to the work of Robert Adams and Philip Quinn, the second half of the twentieth century witnessed a resurgence of interest in divine command theory as a viable position in normative theory and meta-ethics. More recently, however, there has been some dissatisfaction with divine command theory even among those philosophers who claim that normative properties are grounded in God, and as a result alternative views have begun to emerge, most notably divine intention theory (Murphy, Quinn) and divine motivation (...)
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  • Desire-Fulfillment Theory.Chris Heathwood - 2016 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge. pp. 135-147.
    Explains the desire-fulfillment theory of well-being, its history, its development, its varieties, its advantages, and its challenges.
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  • Knowing What I Want.Alex Byrne - 2011 - In JeeLoo Liu & John Perry (eds.), Consciousness and the Self: New Essays. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    How do you know what you want? The question is neglected by epistemologists. This paper attempts an answer.
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