Against strong cognitivism: An argument from caring

Hilla Jacobson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


According to 'strong cognitivism', all reasons for action are rooted in normative features that the motivated subject (explicitly or implicitly) takes objects to have (or lack) independently of her attitudes towards these objects. My main concern in this paper is to argue against strong cognitivism, that is, to establish the view that conative attitudes do provide subjects with reasons for action. My central argument to this effect is a top-down one that proceeds by an analysis of the complex phenomenon of caring and derives a conclusion regarding the (motivational and normative) nature of more basic mental phenomena - particular desires.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)139-158
Number of pages20
JournalDialogue-Canadian Philosophical Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 27 May 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © Canadian Philosophical Association 2014.


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