The moral. The personal, and the importance of what we care about

Philosophy 76 (3):415-433 (2001)
Abstract
This paper challenges what I call ‘Frankfurt's Care-Importance Principle’ (or ‘the CIP’), according to which, ‘If there is something that a person does care about, then it follows that it is important to him.’ Indeed, caring may generate genuine importance. I claim, however, that the agent's caring may have blinding effects too, it may blind him to what is really important to him. In this kind of case, caring does not generate genuine importance; rather, it reinforces the agent's false belief that what he cares about is really important to him. In the second part of the paper, I try to explain the philosophical urgency in correcting the CIP. I claim that Frankfurt's adherence to the CIP casts doubt upon the adequacy of his conceptual framework to deal with a special kind of conflict, namely, the conflict between the moral and the personal.
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