How to argue about Aristotle about practical reason

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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 Aristotle accepts the first two principles, there are some grounds for thinking that he might reject the third.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-58
Number of pages28
JournalProceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy
Issue number1
Early online date16 Sept 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Sept 2020


  • motivation
  • desire
  • metaethics


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