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  1. Doxastic Desire and Attitudinal Monism.Douglas Campbell - 2018 - Synthese 195 (3):1139-1161.
    How many attitudes must be posited at the level of reductive bedrock in order to reductively explain all the rest? Motivational Humeans hold that at least two attitudes are indispensable, belief and desire. Desire-As-Belief theorists beg to differ. They hold that the belief attitude can do the all the work the desire attitude is supposed to do, because desires are in fact nothing but beliefs of a certain kind. If this is correct it has major implications both for the philosophy (...)
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  • Desire, Expectation, and Invariance.Richard Bradley & H. Orri Stefánsson - 2016 - Mind 125 (499):691-725.
    The Desire-as-Belief thesis (DAB) states that any rational person desires a proposition exactly to the degree that she believes or expects the proposition to be good. Many people take David Lewis to have shown the thesis to be inconsistent with Bayesian decision theory. However, as we show, Lewis's argument was based on an Invariance condition that itself is inconsistent with the (standard formulation of the) version of Bayesian decision theory that he assumed in his arguments against DAB. The aim of (...)
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  • Jeffrey Conditionalization, the Principal Principle, the Desire as Belief Thesis, and Adams’s Thesis.Ittay Nissan-Rozen - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):axs039.
    I show that David Lewis’s principal principle is not preserved under Jeffrey conditionalization. Using this observation, I argue that Lewis’s reason for rejecting the desire as belief thesis and Adams’s thesis applies also to his own principal principle. 1 Introduction2 Adams’s Thesis, the Desire as Belief Thesis, and the Principal Principle3 Jeffrey Conditionalization4 The Principal Principles Not Preserved under Jeffrey Conditionalization5 Inadmissible Experiences.
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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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  • A Triviality Result for the “Desire by Necessity” Thesis.Ittay Nissan-Rozen - 2015 - Synthese 192 (8):2535-2556.
    A triviality result for what Lewis called “the Desire by Necessity Thesis” and Broome : 265–267, 1991) called “the Desire as Expectation Thesis” is presented. The result shows that this thesis and three other reasonable conditions can be jointly satisfied only in trivial cases. Some meta-ethical implications of the result are discussed. The discussion also highlights several issues regarding Lewis ’ original triviality result for “the Desire as Belief Thesis” that have not been properly understood in the literature.
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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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  • Desires, Beliefs and Conditional Desirability.H. Orri Stefánsson - 2014 - Synthese 191 (16):4019-4035.
    Does the desirability of a proposition depend on whether it is true? Not according to the Invariance assumption, held by several notable philosophers. The Invariance assumption plays an important role in David Lewis’ famous arguments against the so-called Desire-as-Belief thesis (DAB), an anti-Humean thesis according to which a rational agent desires a proposition exactly to the degree that she believes the proposition to be desirable. But the assumption is of interest independently of Lewis’ arguments, for instance since both Richard Jeffrey (...)
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  • Belief Attribution in Animals: On How to Move Forward Conceptually and Empirically. [REVIEW]Robert W. Lurz - 2011 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (1):19-59.
    There is considerable debate in comparative psychology and philosophy over whether nonhuman animals can attribute beliefs. The empirical studies that suggest that they can are shown to be inconclusive, and the main philosophical and empirical arguments that purport to show they cannot are shown to be invalid or weak. What is needed to move the debate and the field forward, it is argued, is a fundamentally new experimental protocol for testing belief attribution in animals, one capable of distinguishing genuine belief-attributing (...)
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  • Grounding Reichenbach’s Pragmatic Vindication of Induction.Michael J. Shaffer - 2017 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 11 (1):43-55.
    This paper has three interdependent aims. The first is to make Reichenbach’s views on induction and probabilities clearer, especially as they pertain to his pragmatic justification of induction. The second aim is to show how his view of pragmatic justification arises out of his commitment to extensional empiricism and moots the possibility of a non-pragmatic justification of induction. Finally, and most importantly, a formal decision-theoretic account of Reichenbach’s pragmatic justification is offered in terms both of the minimax principle and the (...)
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  • Blame and the Humean Theory of Motivation.Adam Thompson - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (3):1345-1364.
    A classic, though basically neglected question about motivation arises when we attempt to account for blame’s nature—namely, does the recognition central to blame need help from an independent desire in order to motivate the blame-characteristic dispositions that arise in the blamer? Those who have attended to the question think the answer is yes. Hence, they adopt what I call a Humean Construal of blame on which blame is (a) a judgment that an individual S is blameworthy and (b) an independent (...)
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  • Types of Uncertainty.Richard Bradley & Mareile Drechsler - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (6):1225-1248.
    We distinguish three qualitatively different types of uncertainty—ethical, option and state space uncertainty—that are distinct from state uncertainty, the empirical uncertainty that is typically measured by a probability function on states of the world. Ethical uncertainty arises if the agent cannot assign precise utilities to consequences. Option uncertainty arises when the agent does not know what precise consequence an act has at every state. Finally, state space uncertainty exists when the agent is unsure how to construct an exhaustive state space. (...)
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  • Counterfactual Desire as Belief.J. Robert G. Williams - manuscript
    Bryne & Hajek (1997) argue that Lewis’s (1988; 1996) objections to identifying desire with belief do not go through if our notion of desire is ‘causalized’ (characterized by causal, rather than evidential, decision theory). I argue that versions of the argument go through on certain assumptions about the formulation of decision theory. There is one version of causal decision theory where the original arguments cannot be formulated—the ‘imaging’ formulation that Joyce (1999) advocates. But I argue this formulation is independently objectionable. (...)
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  • Absolute Value as Belief.Steven Daskal - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (2):221 - 229.
    In “Desire as Belief” and “Desire as Belief II,” David Lewis ( 1988 , 1996 ) considers the anti-Humean position that beliefs about the good require corresponding desires, which is his way of understanding the idea that beliefs about the good are capable of motivating behavior. He translates this anti-Humean claim into decision theoretic terms and demonstrates that it leads to absurdity and contradiction. As Ruth Weintraub ( 2007 ) has shown, Lewis’ argument goes awry at the outset. His decision (...)
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