Changing direction on direction of fit

Gregory, A. (2012) Changing direction on direction of fit Ethical Theory & Moral Practice, 15, (5), pp. 603-614. (doi:10.1007/s10677-012-9355-6).


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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
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1007/s10677-012-9355-6
ISSNs: 1386-2820 (print)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Organisations: Philosophy
ePrint ID: 352950
Date :
Date Event
November 2012Published
Date Deposited: 28 May 2013 10:45
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 15:28
Further Information:Google Scholar

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