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Volume 46 • Number 4

October 2009



Desires and Reasons

by Alan Goldman

In an article on whether desires generate practical reasons, Ruth Chang points out that philosophers have gravitated to extreme positions in their answers to this question. Internalists argue that all reasons derive from desires, while externalists argue that none, or virtually none, do. She, by contrast, holds that some reasons derive from desires and some from objective values. According to her, single desires in themselves can provide reasons for actions based simply on the desires' affective nature. But in her view the fact that one feels like doing something, while sometimes relevant to what one rationally ought to do, is not always so, and other reasons are provided by the values of the objects desired and not by the desires themselves.

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ISSN: 2152-1123