Presenter: Neil Sinhababu (National University of Singapore)

I describe how desire drives moral judgment and practical reasoning, in line with the Humean theory of motivation. First I lay out the significance of this theory for moral philosophy. Then I describe how desire motivates action, causes pleasant and unpleasant emotions, directs our attention, and is intensified by vivid representations of things we associate with its objects. The emotional and motivational effects of desire explain moral feeling, belief, and motivation. The attentional effects of desire explain how we combine premises in reasoning. The experience of reflecting on whether to act on a desire is explained by desire's hedonic and attentional effects, as suggested by Nietzsche in section 109 of Daybreak.