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Kinds of ReasonsAn Essay in the Philosophy of Action$
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Maria Alvarez

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199550005

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199550005.001.0001

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Motivation and Desires

Motivation and Desires

Chapter:
(p.53) 3 Motivation and Desires
Source:
Kinds of Reasons
Author(s):

Maria Alvarez (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199550005.003.0004

Chapter 3 focuses on motivation in action with a view to answering the question what our reasons for action –what are called ‘motivating reasons’—are. After a discussion of motives, the focus moves to the relation between motivation and desires. It is argued that an adequate understanding of desires and of their relation to motivation is not possible without paying proper attention to the distinction between bodily appetites and rational desires, which stand in importantly different relations to reasons; and to the act/object ambiguity inherent in the term ‘desire’—since the term can be used to refer to my desiring something or to what I desire. These distinctions are explained and explored in preparation to answering the question at the centre of the following chapter: whether desires are motivating reasons.

Keywords:   motivation, motives, desires, direction of fit, Anscombe, Nagel, Smith, bodily appetites, rational, act/object ambiguity

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