Colloquium 2 How to Argue about Aristotle about Practical Reason

In: Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy
Author: Giles Pearson1
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  • 1 University of Bristol
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In this paper, I consider Aristotle’s views in relation to the Humean theory of motivation (HTM). I distinguish three principles which HTM is committed to: the ‘No Besires’ principle, the ‘Motivation Out—Desire In’ principle, and the ‘Desire Out—Desire In’ principle. To reject HTM, one only needs to reject one of these principles. I argue that while it is plausible to think that Aristotle accepts the first two principles, there are some grounds for thinking that he might reject the third.

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