Prudence and Responsibility to Self in an Identity Crisis

Res Philosophica 93 (4):815-841 (2016)
Adam Cureton
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
A comprehensive theory of rational prudence would explain how a person should adjudicate among the conflicting interests of her past, present, future and counterfactual selves. For example, when a person is having an identity crisis, perhaps because she has suddenly become disabled, she may be left with no sense of purpose to keep her going. In her despondent state, she may think it prudent to give up on life now even if she would soon adopt a different set of values that would give her a renewed sense of meaning. Yet we may think that, in many cases, it would be irrational for such a person to allow herself to die. My aim is to explain this prudential intuition by developing a partial framework of rational prudence that interprets and applies the idea that a prudent person acts in ways that are justifiable to herself over time.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy
Categories No categories specified
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ISBN(s) 2168-9105
DOI 10.11612/resphil.1466
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