Reasons, Causes, and Inclinations<sub>*</sub>

Paul Hoffman

in Emotion and Cognitive Life in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199579914
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745959 | DOI:
Reasons, Causes, and Inclinations*

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What is it to be inclined or disposed to do something? What is it to incline, dispose, or incite the will? Do things that incline or incite the will do so by providing reasons for acting? Do they influence the will by serving as efficient causes of acts of will? Both? Neither? This essay is a preliminary exploration into various medieval and early modern accounts of being inclined to do something and of inclining the will in the attempt to get an understanding of these notions. The focus is on Aquinas, Leibniz, and Descartes, in particular, for help in clarifying the concept of motive introduced by contemporary philosophers, such as Merleau-Ponty and Albritton, as a way to explain action that is distinct from both reasons and causes.

Keywords: inclinations; motives; Merleau-Ponty; Descartes; Albritton; Aquinas; Leibniz; inclination of the will; action; freedom of the will

Chapter.  11054 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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