November 15: Greg Brown

Please join us on Monday, November 15th from 10:30-12:20 in Haskell 315. Greg Brown (University of Chicago) will be presenting his paper entitled Desire and Action. The presentation is read-ahead. The paper is accessible under downloads.


Elizabeth Anscombe’s claim in Intention that all action is prompted by desire bears a similarity to the views of certain neo-Humean internal reasons theorists. Accordingly, it raises the question of whether her view is susceptible to objections made by philosophers such as Thomas Nagel, T.M. Scanlon, and Christine Korsgaard, roughly to the effect that such claims are either false or trivial. In this chapter, I attempt to sketch out Anscombe’s conception of desire and action and identify what is important and worth preserving in it, while acknowledging certain ways in which it should be modified to accommodate the existence of non-calculative practical reasoning.

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