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Slaves of the Passions$
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Mark Schroeder

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199299508

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199299508.001.0001

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Reasons and the Humean Theory

Reasons and the Humean Theory

(p.1) 1 Reasons and the Humean Theory
Slaves of the Passions

Mark Schroeder (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the Humean Theory of Reasons by reference to the case of Ronnie, who likes to dance, and Bradley, who can't stand dancing. Given this difference in their psychologies, Ronnie has some reason to go to the party, where there will be dancing, that Bradley doesn't have. The basic Humean idea is that all reasons are like Ronnie's. The classical argument for the Humean Theory is introduced, as well as the central philosophical significance of the Humean Theory: the challenge that it raises about the objective prescriptivity of morality. Hypotheticalism is introduced as the version of the Humean Theory that will be defended. In the final two sections, a range of preliminary distinctions and working theses are established, including about the relationship between objective and subjective reasons for action, and that between agent-neutral and agent-relational reasons.

Keywords:   Humean Theory of Reasons, Hypotheticalism, classical argument, objective, subjective, agent-neutral, agent-relational

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