Imperative Transparency

Abstract

I respond to an objection recently formulated by Barlassina and Hayward against first-order imperativism about pain, according to which it cannot account for the self-directed motivational force of pain. I am going to agree with them: it cannot. This is because pain does not have self-directed motivational force. I will argue that the alternative view (that pain is about dealing with extramental, bodily threats; not about dealing with itself) makes better sense of introspection, and of empirical research on pain avoidance. Also, a naturalistic theory of body-involving commands falls straightforwardly off our most prominent naturalistic metasemantic accounts, while the token-reflexive contents that would underlie self-directed motivation are more problematic.

Publication
Mind

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