Chapter

Desires, Volitions, and Affections

John Bricke

in Mind and Morality

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250111
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681240 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198250111.003.0003
Desires, Volitions, and Affections

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David Hume's arguments for a conativist theory of reasons for action introduce a pantechnicon notion of desires with propositional content and the world-to-mind direction of fit. That notion has many philosophical merits, not the least of them being the contribution it makes to effective reflection on the nature of reasons for action. It will be objected, however, that whatever its philosophical merits this notion of desire cannot be Hume's. This chapter discusses several well-entrenched elements in Hume's metaphysical model for desire, his views on certain vexed questions that any doctrine of the content of desire must address, particularly about egoism and hedonism. Attention to questions of content will aid the examination of Hume's doctrine of volitions. Reaction on the role of volitions helps reinforce Hume's case for conativism. This chapter also examines Hume's doctrine of affections.

Keywords: David Hume; conativism; reasons; action; desires; volitions; egoism; hedonism; affections

Chapter.  17015 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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