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.