Ideal Self In Non-Ideal Circumstances

Sušnik, Matej (2017) Ideal Self In Non-Ideal Circumstances. In: Perspectives on the Self. University of Rijeka, Rijeka, pp. 223-234. ISBN 978-953-7975-57-9

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Any plausible theory of reasons should capture the way in which reasons figure in the explanation and justification of our actions. Normative reasons, in other words, are not only expected to exert a ‘motivational pull’ on the agent, but they should be able to justify what the agent does as well. In order to meet these requirements, many philosophers endorse the view according to which normative reasons depend not on the motivations of one’s actual self, but rather on the motivations of one’s ideal self. According to this internalist picture, what one has reason to do does not depend on what one is actually motivated to do, but rather on what one would be motivated to do if one deliberated correctly, had no false beliefs, and had all relevant true beliefs (Williams, 1980). However, as some philosophers point out (Johnson, 1999 ; Sobel, 2001), this view overlooks the possibility that one could have a reason to act in a certain way precisely because one is not ideally placed. The trouble is that the specification of one’s actual circumstances sometimes include one’s imperfection, so it is simply not possible for one’s ideal self to be in the same circumstances (Williams 1995). As a result of their attempt to avoid this difficulty, internalists fail to meet the above mentioned requirements, so the revised versions of internalism fail to account for the explanatory and justificatory role of normative reasons. In this paper I discuss this puzzle in more detail and evaluate some of the proposed solutions.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Depositing User: Maja Šoštarić
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2018 11:30
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2018 11:30

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