The Humean Theory of Reasons holds that if there is a reason for an agent to do something, then that agent must have a desire served by doing it. This ignores a distinction between “Agent has an X” and “There is an X”. Statements of the second type leave the question of whose X it is open. “There is a reason for an agent to do X” implies that there is a desire that will be served by the agent doing X, but leaves open the possibility that the relevant desire belong to somebody else. A moral reason to do something does not depend on an agent having a desire served by doing it. It depends on others having reasons to give the agent a reason to do it. The desires served by manufacturing a reason are those of the people who do the manufacturing.
|Commitee:||Heathwood, Chris, Norcross, Alastair|
|School:||University of Colorado at Boulder|
|School Location:||United States -- Colorado|
|Source:||MAI 82/3(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Central Problem of Morality, Desirism, Hume, Humean Theory of Reasons, Internal reasons, Reasons for action|
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