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Reasons to Desire and Desiring at Will

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There is an unresolved conflict concerning the normative nature of desire. Some authors take rational desire to differ from rational belief in being a normatively unconstrained attitude. Others insist that rational desire seems plausibly subject to several consistency norms. This article argues that the correct analysis of this conflict of conative normativity leads us to acknowledge intrinsic and extrinsic reasons to desire. If sound, this point helps us to unveil a fundamental aspect of desire, namely, that we cannot desire at will. Unlike belief, however, desire can unproblematically accommodate a notion of instrumental attitude.
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Keywords: belief; conative rationality; consistency norms; instrumental desire; intrinsic/extrinsic reasons

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2017-04-01

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