Abstract in English:Abstract What does bodily pain have in common with mental pain? According to “evaluativism,” both are representations of something bad. This paper puts forward three claims. First, that evaluativism vis-à-vis bodily pain is false for it renders it irrational to take painkillers. Second, that evaluativism vis-à-vis mental pain is true. Third, that this difference between bodily and mental pain stems from the fact that only the latter is normative, that is, based on reasons. The normative difference between bodily and mental pain implies that mental pains are not bad, while bodily pains are not representations.
Abstract in English:Abstract Sartre’s obscure but evocative remarks on bodily awareness have often been cited, but, I argue, they have rarely been understood. This paper aims to bring the connection between Sartre's views on bodily awareness and his more general distinction between “positional” and “non-positional” consciousness. Sartre’s main claim about bodily awareness, I argue, is that our primary awareness of our own bodies is a form of non-positional consciousness. I show that he is right about this, and right to think that recognizing this point is crucial to understanding what it is for something to be my body.
Abstract in English:Abstract Psychological eudaimonism (PE) is the view that we are constituted by a desire to avoid the harmful. This entails that coming to see a prospective or actual object of pursuit as harmful to us will unseat our positive evaluative belief about (and co-instantiated desire for) that object (§I). There is more than one way that such an 'unseating' of desire may be caused on an intellectualist picture (§II). This paper arbitrates between two readings of Socrates' 'attack on laziness' in the Meno, with the aim of constructing a model of moral education based on PE's implied moral psychology. In particular, we argue against the view that when we come to see - through prudential reasoning - that our blatant evaluative beliefs and desires disserve eudaimonism, we will no longer perceive their intentional objects as choice-worthy. We suggest, instead, that it is by experiencing shame that we cease to see the intentional objects of our evaluative beliefs and desires as worthy of pursuit (§III). This form of 'hydraulic education' bypasses reason-responsiveness altogether. As such, it only allows for practical norms to be derived from the nature of agency indirectly, namely by enabling the use of discursive practical reasoning.
Abstract in English:Abstract According to constitutivism, the objective authority of practical reason is to be grounded in the constitutive features of agency. In this paper, I offer a brief survey of the basic structure of constitutive argument about objectivity and consider how constitutivism might dispel the worry that it can only ground a conditional kind of authority. I then consider David Enoch’s original shmagency challenge and the response in terms of the inescapability of agency. In particular, I revisit the appeal to inescapability in light of Enoch’s restatement of the challenge in 'Shmagency Revisited'. I argue that the revised challenge still fails but that it helps clarify: first, the distinction between external and internal challenges to constitutivism, and, second, the existence of at least different kinds of inescapability of agency (metaphysical, psychological, and dialectical). I argue that only dialectical inescapability is helpful to show that constitutivism is a viable metanormative theory. I conclude by claiming that an internal challenge to constitutivism is still possible in principle but that the burden of proof has shifted once again to the critics of constitutivism.
Abstract in English:Abstract The perennial appeal of Kantian ethics surely lies in its conception of autonomy. Kantianism tells us that the good life is fundamentally about acting in accordance with an internal rather than an external authority: a good will is simply a will in agreement with its own rational, self-constituting law. In this paper, I argue against Kantian autonomy, on the grounds that it excessively narrows our concept of the good, it confuses the difference between practical and theoretical modes of knowing the good, and it cannot respect the essential efficacy of the principles of practical reason.
Abstract in English:Abstract The literature on agentive or practical knowledge tends to be focused on knowing what one is doing or what one is going to do. Knowing what one has done and has achieved thereby seems to be another matter. In fact, achievements are often taken to be beyond the ken of practical knowledge. I argue that this is a mistake. The intelligibility of the very idea of practical knowledge depends on the possibility of knowing one's achievements in the same manner. For if it is to be intelligible as knowledge of the actuality of one's action in the material world, knowing what one is doing has to include knowledge of what one has done so far.
Abstract in English:Abstract Contemporary philosophy of mind has tended to make the believer disappear. In response, Matt Boyle and Pamela Hieronymi have argued that believing is an act or activity, not a mental state. I argue that this response fails to fully critique contemporary accounts of believing. Such accounts assume that (i) states of believing are particulars; (ii) with semantic properties; (iii) that we attend to in reflection and act on in inference; and (iv) with a rich causal life of their own. Together, these assumptions leave no room for the believer in an account of believing. But these assumptions are not entailed by the idea that believing is a mental state. Careful reflection on other kinds of states helps us see how to put the believer back in the heart of our account of believing.
Abstract in English:Abstract Most philosophers assume (often without argument) that belief is a mental state. Call their view the orthodoxy. In a pair of recent papers, Matthew Boyle has argued that the orthodoxy is mistaken: belief is not a state but (as I like to put it) an act of reason. I argue here that at least part of his disagreement with the orthodoxy rests on an equivocation. For to say that belief is an act of reason might mean either (i) that it’s an actualization of its subject’s rational capacities or (ii) that it’s a rational activity (hence, a certain kind of event). And, though belief is not an act of reason in the second sense, it may nonetheless be one in the first: it may be a static actualization of its subject’s rational capacities.
Abstract in English:Abstract According to one interpretation of Aristotle’s famous thesis, to say that action is the conclusion of practical reasoning is to say that an action is a judgment about what to do. A central motivation for the thesis so understood is that it explains the non-observational character of practical knowledge. If actions are judgments, then whatever explains an agent’s knowledge of the relevant judgment can explain her knowledge of the action. I call the approach to action that accepts Aristotle’s thesis so understood Normativism. There are many reasons to doubt Normativism. My focus in this paper is a pair of arguments that purport to show that a normative judgment could not constitute an event in material reality and also the knowledge of such a happening. Both highlight a putative mismatch between the natures of, on the one hand, an agent’s knowledge of her normative judgment and, on the other, her knowledge of her own action. According to these objections, knowledge of action includes (a) perceptual knowledge and (b) knowledge of what one has already done. But knowledge of a normative judgment includes neither. Hence knowledge of action cannot simply be knowledge of a normative judgment. I show why these arguments fail.
Abstract in English:Abstract In this paper I present a neo-Anscombean account of instrumental normativity and argue against it. I turn to the writings of Iris Murdoch in order to develop an alternative Anscombean account of instrumental normativity.
Abstract in English:Abstract I argue that the Formula of Humanity, the principle that we should always treat the humanity of a person as an end in itself and never as a mere means, is a principle of pure practical reason. Insofar as that principle is also the fundamental grounds of morality, it follows, then, that all autonomous rational agents are committed to morality.
Abstract in English:Abstract Constitutivists attempt to ground reasons for action in the constitutive features of agency. Central to Enoch's famous “shmagency” objection to constitutivism is the idea that constitutivists should worry about the question whether there is reason to be an agent rather than a “shmagent”-where a shmagent is a non-agent being who lacks the constitutive features of agency, but is otherwise as similar to agents as can be. I explain why constitutivism isn’t in trouble even if there’s no reason to be an agent. The nature of agency can in principle ground authoritative reasons for agents to act, even if there isn’t, in addition, a reason to be an agent. Relatedly, I explain why a prominent strand in previous responses to Enoch is misleading in focusing on whether the request for reasons to be an agent, as posed by the shmagent, is even possible or intelligible. Even if the shmagent’s request for reasons is possible and intelligible-as I argue it is-this doesn’t matter for constitutivists, for the request is misguided: constitutivists need no reasons to be an agent.
Abstract in English:Abstract What is the difference between an intended consequence and a foreseen unavoidable consequence? The answer, I argue, turns on the exercise of knowhow knowledge in the process that led to the consequence. I argue for this using a theory according to which acting intentionally is acting as a reason. I show how this gives us a more promising explanation of the difference than the dominant explanations, according to which acting intentionally is acting for a reason.
Abstract in English:Abstract The title really says it all, doesn't it?