By Sergio Tenenbaum
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2007
Online Publication Date:August 2009
'We desire all and only those things we conceive to be good; we avoid what we conceive to be bad.' This slogan was once the standard view of the relationship between desire or motivation and rational evaluation. Many critics have rejected this scholastic formula as either trivial or wrong. It appears to be trivial if we just define the good as 'what we want', and wrong if we consider apparent conflicts between what we seem to want and what we seem to think is good. In Appearances of the Good, Sergio Tenenbaum argues that the old slogan is both significant and right, even in cases of apparent conflict between our desires and our evaluative judgements. Maintaining that the good is the formal end of practical inquiry in much the same way as truth is the formal end of theoretical inquiry, he provides a fully unified account of motivation and evaluation.