By Sergio Tenenbaum
'We hope all and merely these issues we conceive to be stable; we stay away from what we conceive to be bad.' This slogan used to be the traditional view of the connection among hope or motivation and rational overview. Many critics have rejected this scholastic formulation as both trivial or flawed. apparently to be trivial if we simply outline the nice as 'what we want', and flawed if we contemplate obvious conflicts among what we appear to wish and what we appear to imagine is nice. In Appearances of the nice, Sergio Tenenbaum argues that the outdated slogan is either major and correct, even in circumstances of obvious clash among our wishes and our evaluative decisions. conserving that the great is the formal finish of useful inquiry in a lot a similar method as fact is the formal finish of theoretical inquiry, he offers a completely unified account of motivation and overview.
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Extra resources for Appearances of the Good: An Essay on the Nature of Practical Reason
The old formula of the schools would not be particularly interesting if we simply defined the ‘‘good’’ as whatever is the object of a desire or preference, or of desire or preference under independently specifiable conditions (such as conditions of ‘‘full information,’’ for example). 15 According to a scholastic view, the good is the goal of desires, and actual desires might be improper conceptions of the good. To use the terminology 11 12 13 14 15 This is not to commit myself to accepting the view that it is always better to follow one’s most reflective judgment.
See his An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections: Illustrations upon the Moral Sense. This is not exactly Smith’s definition, but I think the definition he gives is somewhat problematic. For a discussion of these problems, see G. F. ’’ Why we need this qualification will become clear in the sections that follow. It is again related to the fact that a desire conceives something to be good from a certain perspective. ’’ Desires as Appearances 25 there are or, in our language, the agent’s conceptions and judgments of the good.
At any rate, if Anscombe is correct here, this would seem to be enough to establish that a scholastic view of practical reason could not be just a notational variant of subjectivism. Subjectivism is committed to the view that there are no constraints of intelligibility on our aims; we could desire anything, and anything we could desire would be intelligible as an aim as long as we desire in a wellinformed and consistent manner. This is not to say that Anscombe’s examples suffice to refute these views; one could argue that Anscombe’s bizarre agents strike us as unintelligible not because their ends are intrinsically unintelligible but because given what we know about human beings, we cannot believe that such agents are indeed well informed and consistent.
Appearances of the Good: An Essay on the Nature of Practical Reason by Sergio Tenenbaum