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In a Fitter Direction: Moving Beyond the Direction of Fit Picture of Belief and Desire

John Milliken
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice
Vol. 11, No. 5 (Nov., 2008), pp. 563-571
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40284264
Page Count: 9
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In a Fitter Direction: Moving Beyond the Direction of Fit Picture of Belief and Desire
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Abstract

Those working within the tradition of Humean psychology tend to mark a clear distinction between beliefs and desires. One prominent way of elucidating this distinction is to describe them as having different "directions of fit" with respect to the world. After first giving a brief overview of the various attempts to carry out this strategy along with their flaws, I argue that the direction of fit metaphor is misleading and ought to be abandoned. It fails to take into account the actual complexity of the roles played by belief and desire and forces us to look for a single, fundamental contrast between these two that is unlikely to be found.

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