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The Australian National University

Declan Smithies (OSU): Affective Experience, Reasons for Action, and Desire

Date and time

Thu, 06/04/2017 - 15:30 - 17:30

Location

Coombs Seminar Room A

What is the role of affective experience in explaining how desires provide us with reasons for action? When we desire that p, we are disposed to feel attracted to the prospect that p, and to feel averse to the prospect that not p. In this paper, we argue that these affective experiences – feelings of attraction and aversion – provide us with reasons for action in virtue of their phenomenal character. Moreover, we argue that desires provide us with reasons for action only because they are disposed to cause the phenomenal character of affective experience. On this account, affective experience has a central role to play in explaining how desires provide reasons for action.

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