Desires as Reasons1

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):326-348 (2007)
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Abstract

Humeans believe that at least some of our desires give us reasons for action. This view is widely accepted by social scientists and has some following among philosophers. In recent years important objections were raised against this position by Scanlon, Dancy, and others. The foundations of the Humean view have never been properly defended. In the first part of the paper I discuss some objections to the Humean position. In the second part I attempt to provide an argument for the claim that the Humean view gives us a plausible, even if not exclusive, understanding of our notion of reasons. The particular version of the Humean view I set out to defend is that only desires that the agent is not alienated from, and that are not impulses, are reason giving.

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Yonatan Shemmer
University of Sheffield

Citations of this work

Wittgenstein, Korsgaard and the Publicity of Reasons.Joshua Gert - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (5):439-459.
A Puzzle About Reasons and Rationality.Caj Strandberg - 2017 - The Journal of Ethics 21 (1):63-88.
Silencing Desires?Attila Tanyi - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (3):887-903.
An Ecumenical Account of Categorical Moral Reasons.Caj Strandberg - 2019 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 16 (2):160-188.

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