Desire-Based Theories of Reasons, Pleasure, and Welfare Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
  • One of the most important disputes in the foundations of ethics concerns the source of practical reasons. On the desire-based view, only one’s desires provide one with reasons to act. On the value-based view, reasons are instead provided by the objective evaluative facts, and never by our desires. Similarly, there are desire-based and non-desired-based theories about two other phenomena: pleasure and welfare. It has been argued, and is natural to think, that holding a desire-based theory about either pleasure or welfare commits one to recognizing that desires do provide reasons for action – i.e., commits one to abandoning the value-based theory of reasons. The purpose of this paper is to show that this is not so. All of the following can be true: pleasure and welfare provide reasons; pleasure and welfare are to be understood in terms of desire; desires never provide reasons, in the relevant way.
Date Issued
  • 2011-01-01
Academic Affiliation
Journal Title
Journal Volume
  • 6
File Extent
  • 79-106
Last Modified
  • 2019-12-05
Resource Type
Rights Statement