Valuing and caring

Theoria 75 (4):272-303 (2009)
Abstract
What is it to "value" something, in the semi-technical sense of the term that Gary Watson establishes? I argue that valuing something consists in caring about it. Caring involves not only emotional dispositions of the sort that Agnieszka Jaworska has elaborated, but also a distinctive cognitive disposition – namely, a (defeasible) disposition to believe the object cared about to be a source of agent-relative reasons for action and for emotion. Understood in this way, an agent's carings have a stronger claim to "speak for" her as her values than do other attitudes that have been proposed for this role. In particular, an agent's carings establish more robust psychological continuities and cross-temporal connections than do self-governing policies of the sort that Michael Bratman has described; and they forge diachronic coherence not just in her deliberation and action, as self-governing policies do, but also in her cognitive and emotional life. An agent's carings thus help to constitute her identity as a temporally persisting subject . Self-governing policies are at best ersatz -values, which an agent may choose to adopt when she finds that her proper values – her cares – leave her course underdetermined.
Keywords self‐governing policy  valuing  hierarchy  Jaworska  Frankfurt  Bratman  value  caring  Watson
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    References found in this work BETA
    Michael Bratman (1987/1999). Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason. Center for the Study of Language and Information.

    View all 26 references

    Citations of this work BETA
    Jeffrey Seidman (2010). Caring and Incapacity. Philosophical Studies 147 (2):301 - 322.
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