Norms for pure desire



Published 26-02-2020
Victor M. Verdejo


According to a widespread, broadly Humean consensus, desires and other conative attitudes seem as such to be free from any normative constraints of rationality. However, rational subjects are also required to be attitude-coherent in ways that prima facie hold sway for desire. I here examine the plausibility of this idea by proposing several principlesfor coherent desire. These principles parallel principles for coherent belief and can be used to make a case for a kind of purely conative normativity. I consider several objections to a principle for consistent desiring and reply to them. I conclude that, if attitude-coherence is a mark of rationality, the broadly Humean consensus must be rejected.

How to Cite

Verdejo, V. M. (2020). Norms for pure desire. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 35(1), 95–112.
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desire, belief, rationality, coherence, Hume