This chapter examines some arguments made in favour of subjectivism. It considers the claim that, if we were fully procedurally rational, we would want to avoid future agony because such agony would interfere with our exercise of our rational capacities. This reply does not explain why we cannot have any reason to want to avoid agony, not as a means of fulfilling some other present desire, but as an end, or for its own sake. There is also the argument that, unless the concept of a reason to have some desire can be reduced to the concept of a reason to have some belief, we cannot have any reasons to have desires. This ingenious argument does not, however, succeed, as the first premise can be plausibly revised to counter the established view on subjectivism. In addition to these arguments, the chapter also explores a different interpretation of these views.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.