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Record identifier : 565411
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Jaeger, Gary
Title and statement of responsibility : Motivational bootstrapping [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : The University of Chicago, 2006
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ph.D
Body granting the degree : , The University of Chicago
Summary or Abstract : It is often assumed that the extent to which an agent's values contribute to his practical reasoning determines the degree of authenticity and self-control with which he acts. Some philosophers maintain that values track aspects of an agent's psychology like desires, while others maintain that they track principles of rationality. While there is disagreement over what counts as a value, most philosophers agree an agent's actions are authentically his own insofar as they express something about what he values and so long as whatever is being expressed governs or controls his actions. There is much to be said for this work, but suppose that an agent's values are precisely the obstacles that prevent authenticity and self-control. Two of the most widely received views, one broadly neo-Humean, the other broadly neo-Kantian, fail to give us purchase on cases like these. In chapters two and three I examine problems with these camps. In chapter four, I sketch out a positive account of authentic self-governance that considers the lessons learned from what I call "conversion" cases in which an agent brings his values in line with newly a recognized antecedent motivation (AM). I take being responsive to AMs to be an integral part of an agent's practical reasoning since action should reflect an agent's own experiences and perceptions of his own well-being. In chapter five, I argue that emotions are paradigmatic, motivational bootstraps. The view of the emotions that I sketch out is cognitivist in that I take emotions to be evaluative beliefs, but I also argue that they have relative strength. A strong emotion can provide reasons for altering one's motivational structure, even when that emotion conflicts with a number of ends that are harmonized and incorporated into an established practical identity. Chapter six responds to objections concerning the justificatory power of motivational bootstrapping and argues that emotions involve evaluative beliefs that require some amount of self-justification. They are beliefs about what we take to be important for our own well-being, and much of what is important to us is important simply because we take it to be..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Philosophy
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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