PHL2131F Seminar in Ethics – Controlling Attitudes Clark, Philip Thursday, 12-3 Breadth Requirement: Values
Is there a way of constituting oneself as having a certain attitude by answering a question? Recently various authors have put this idea to work on a wide variety of problems. David Velleman, for example, claims that in addition to ordinary belief, which is receptive, there is a distinctively directive kind of belief. He uses this idea to explain intention. Richard Moran claims that in addition to the theoretical way of answering a question, there is a distinctively deliberative way, and uses this idea to explain how we know our own beliefs, feelings, desires and intentions. And Pamela Hieronymi claims that we have a distinctively evaluative kind of control over some of our attitudes, and uses this to explain how we can be responsible for our attitudes. We will consider what if any implications this work might have for an account of ethical reasoning.
Requirements: (i) Term paper, due December 31, 2016.
(ii) At least one presentation.
(iii) I also require that anyone who is enrolled meet with me before the end of November to discuss what they might want to do for a term paper.
Those who do not enroll but wish to attend are expected to commit to regular attendance, to doing the reading on time, and to making at least one presentation. Students who are enrolled will have priority in choosing topics for presentations.
Week 2, Sept. 22) Elizabeth Anscombe, Intention, Sections 1-6, pp. 1-12, Sections 28-32, pp. 49-57, and Sections 45-52, pp. 82-94. (I am particularly interested in the remarks about "two knowledges" on page 50 and again on pages 88-9.) I've posted some related readings and citations under Further Reading. Hampshire and Hart, "Decision, Intention and Certainty"
Week 3, Sept. 29) Richard Moran, Authority and Estrangement, Chapter 2. Gareth Evans, Varieties of Reference, selection on transparency
Week 4, Oct. 6) David Velleman, The Possibility of Practical Reason,
Introduction; Ch. 5, "The Guise of the Good" (esp. pp. 110-11); Ch. 8, "The Possibility of Practical Reason" (esp. pp. 182-195, NB: footnote 55). David Owens, "Does Belief Have an Aim?"
(I've posted "The Guise of the Good" and "The Possibility of Practical Reason," which are reprinted as Chapters 5 and 8, on the course site under Readings. I've also posted a file of the introduction. The book is not legally available electronically, as far as I can tell.)