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Changing direction on direction of fit

Gregory, A. (2012) Changing direction on direction of fit. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 15 (5). pp. 603-614. ISSN 1386-2820

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1007/s10677-012-9355-6

Abstract/Summary

In this paper, I show that we should understand the direction of fit of beliefs and desires in normative terms. After rehearsing a standard objection to Michael Smith’s analysis of direction of fit, I raise a similar problem for Lloyd Humberstone’s analysis. I go on to offer my own account, according to which the difference between beliefs and desires is determined by the normative relations such states stand in. I argue that beliefs are states which we have reason to change in light of the world, whereas desires are states that give us reason to change the world. After doing this, I show how the view avoids various objections, including two from David Sobel and David Copp. The paper ends by briefly discussing the relevance of the view to the Humean theory of motivation.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Philosophy
ID Code:28669
Publisher:Springer

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