Animal Desire: A Theory of Desire and Practical Rationality
- Start date: 1 October 2022
- End date: 30 September 2025
- Funder: Leverhulme Trust
- Primary investigator: Dr. Ashley Shaw
As rational agents, we are motivated by our reasons for action. But humans are sometimes motivated by 'instinctive' desires based in parts of our psychology shared with simpler animals. Take the impulse to flee danger or hunger. What form does instinctive desire take in rational agents? Existing philosophical accounts of instinctive desire either depict it as too similar to rational states, or fail to explain how it interacts with our capacity for rational action. This project develops a novel and empirically-informed alternative. The account advances our understanding of practical rationally and provides a window into human nature and development.