Alfred Mele

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Mele in 2017

Alfred Remen Mele (born 22. May 1951) is an American philosopher and the William H. and Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University.


  • Here are six popular theses in the philosophical and psychological literature on motivation:

    1. Motivation is present in the animal kingdom but does not extend throughout it.
    2. Motivated beings have a capacity to represent goals and means to goals.
    3. A motivation-encompassing attitude may have either a goal or a means as its object.
    4. Motivation varies in strength.
    5. The stronger an agent’s motivation to A is, in comparison to the agent’s motivation for alternative courses of action, the more likely the agent is to A, other things being equal.
    6. Whenever agents act intentionally, there is something they are effectively motivated to do.

    Divergent conceptions of motivation may be at work in philosophical thought about motivational matters. My concern in this book is a notion of motivation consistent with (among other things) these six claims. Readers who accept all six claims are likely to be more interested in the result than those who do not, but I conjecture that most readers do accept all of these claims, on some reading or other. Also, readers who reject one or more of these theses or who believe that no acceptable conception of motivation is consistent with all of them will be offered good reason to change their minds!

    • Motivation and Agency, Introduction (2003)
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