Motivation and Desires

Maria Alvarez

in Kinds of Reasons

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199550005
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191720239 | DOI:
Motivation and Desires

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Chapter 3 focuses on motivation in action with a view to answering the question what our reasons for action –what are called ‘motivating reasons’—are. After a discussion of motives, the focus moves to the relation between motivation and desires. It is argued that an adequate understanding of desires and of their relation to motivation is not possible without paying proper attention to the distinction between bodily appetites and rational desires, which stand in importantly different relations to reasons; and to the act/object ambiguity inherent in the term ‘desire’—since the term can be used to refer to my desiring something or to what I desire. These distinctions are explained and explored in preparation to answering the question at the centre of the following chapter: whether desires are motivating reasons.

Keywords: motivation; motives; desires; direction of fit; Anscombe; Nagel; Smith; bodily appetites; rational; act/object ambiguity

Chapter.  14431 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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