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« There are no intrinsic desires »

Quand :
19 février 2018 @ 17:15 – 18:45
Où :
Salle 309
2910 Boulevard Edouard-Montpetit
Montréal, QC H3T 1J7

Dans le cadre des midis de l’éthique du CRÉ, Paul Boswell offrira une présentation intitulée « There are no intrinsic desires ».


There are no intrinsic desires. I do not claim that there is nothing we desire for its own sake. What I object to is a view that casts intrinsic desires in the role of ultimate grounds of what an agent objectively ought to do, and which holds that practical reasoning is a matter of determining what one actually wants, deep down. In this paper I show that such a view, Hard Humeanism, requires intrinsic desires to have such abstract content that it becomes wildly implausible that what one ought to do is grounded in what you want. I do this by first offering a sketch of a solution to a well-known critique of Humeanism, known as the specificationist critique. I then show that the emended view that survives this critique prevents the Hard Humean from accounting for the rationality of changes of intrinsic desire during maturation.