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Desire as BeliefA Study of Desire, Motivation, and Rationality$
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Alex Gregory

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780198848172

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198848172.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 September 2021

Desire and Motivation

Desire and Motivation

(p.25) 2 Desire and Motivation
Desire as Belief

Alex Gregory

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the theory ODM (‘Only Desires Motivate’), according to which we can be motivated only by desire. ODM is attractive because it fits with ordinary ways of explaining actions, and because it explains so much—all human behaviour—in a simple and systematic manner. But ODM needs to be distinguished from a nearby more extreme view: although we are only motivated by desire, we are not always motivated by our desires in exact proportion to their strengths. The chapter then shows how ODM can overcome some common-sense objections, can avoid Thomas Nagel’s influential worries, and can make sense of motivation by intention and emotion.

Keywords:   motivation, desire, Nagel, intention, emotion

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