Article/Publication Details

Against the Besire Theory of Moral Judgment

(Original title: Against the Besire Theory of Moral Judgment)
Organon F, 2013, vol. 20, No 1, pp. 5-17.
Language: English
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This paper critical y examines two objections and raises a new objection against the besire theory of moral judgment. Firstly, Smith (1994) observes that a belief that p tends to expire whereas a desire that p tends to endure on the perception that not p. His observation does not refute the sophisticated version of the besire theory that to besire that p is to believe that p and to desire to act in accordance with the belief that p. Secondly, Zangwil (2008) claims that the strength of motivation may vary while the degree of belief remains constant. Besirists would reply that a besire admits of both degree and strength. Finally, I argue that the belief that p endures while the desire to act on the belief that p expires with the introduction of a new bodily condition, and hence that the belief and the desire are distinct mental states.


belief, besire, desire, motivation, perception

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