, Volume 119, Issue 3, pp 265-294

Desiring at Will and Humeanism in Practical Reason

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Abstract

Hume's farmer's dilemma is usually construed as demonstrating the failure of Humeanism in practical reason and as providing an argument in favor of externalism or the theory of resolute choice. But thedilemma arises only when Humeanism is combined with the assumptionthat direct and intentional control of our desires – desiring atwill – is impossible. And such an assumption, albeit widely accepted,has little in its support. Once we reject that assumption we can describe a solution to the dilemma within the bounds of Humeanism. Moreover, wefind in this new solution as argument for the idea of desiring at will.