Does gratitude to R for ϕ-ing imply gratitude that R ϕ-ed?

Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3245-3262 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Many find it plausible that for a given beneficiary, Y, benefactor, R, and action, ϕ, Y’s being grateful to R for ϕ-ing implies Y’s being grateful that R ϕ-ed. According to some philosophers who hold this view, all instances of gratitude to, or “prepositional gratitude,” are also instances of gratitude that, or “propositional gratitude.” These philosophers believe there is a single unified concept of gratitude, a phenomenon that is essentially gratitude that, and whose manifestations sometimes have additional features that make them instances of gratitude to as well. In this article, I show that view to be mistaken. I base my argument on two hypothetical cases, in each of which a beneficiary, Y, is grateful to a benefactor, R, for ϕ-ing, but not grateful that R ϕ-ed. Generalizing from those cases and other cases of gratitude, I argue that prepositional gratitude is the proper response to benevolence-motivated action and propositional gratitude consists in a beneficiary’s judging a state of affairs to be valuable for himself and welcoming that state of affairs. Because not every instance of a benefactor’s acting benevolently toward a beneficiary is something that beneficiary finds valuable for himself and welcomes, it is possible to be grateful to a benefactor for ϕ-ing but not grateful that she ϕ-ed. Prepositional gratitude and propositional gratitude can each occur without the other and are thus two distinct phenomena. I conclude by explaining the importance of accurately understanding the relationship between prepositional gratitude and propositional gratitude.

Similar books and articles

Gratitude and Appreciation.Tony Manela - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (3):281-294.
Propositional Gratitude.Sean McAleer - 2012 - American Philosophical Quarterly 49 (1):55-66.
Motivating propositional gratitude.Michael Rush - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1191-1211.
Negative Feelings of Gratitude.Tony Manela - 2016 - Journal of Value Inquiry 50 (1):129-140.
The Moral Psychology of Gratitude.Robert Roberts & Daniel Telech (eds.) - 2019 - Rowman & Littlefield International.
Gratitude to Nature.Tony Manela - 2018 - Environmental Values 27 (6):623-644.
Dependent Children, Gratitude, and Respect.Amy Mullin - 2016 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 13 (6):720-738.
The Virtue of Gratitude and Its Associated Vices.Tony Manela - forthcoming - The Moral Psychology of Gratitude.
Cosmic Gratitude.Robert C. Roberts - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 6 (3):65--83.
Gratitude, Citizenship and Education.Patricia White - 1999 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 18 (1):43-52.
Gratitude: Generic vs. Deep.Hichem Naar - 2019 - In Robert Roberts & Daniel Telech (eds.), The Moral Psychology of Gratitude. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 15-34.
Obligations of Gratitude and Correlative Rights.Tony Manela - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 5.
Gratitude.Tony Manela - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2015 (Spring).
Gratitude, Self-Interest, and Love.Y. Sandy Berkovski - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (3):645-664.


Added to PP

385 (#40,780)

6 months
74 (#37,596)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Tony Manela
Siena College

Citations of this work

Thanks for being, loving, and believing.Tony Manela - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (5):1649-1672.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Moral Principles and Political Obligations.A. John Simmons - 1980 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 87 (4):568-568.
Gratitude and Appreciation.Tony Manela - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (3):281-294.
Moral Principles and Political Obligations.Diana T. Meyers - 1981 - Philosophical Review 90 (3):472.
Gratitude for Being.Sungwoo Um - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (2):222-233.
The Virtue of Gratitude and Its Associated Vices.Tony Manela - forthcoming - The Moral Psychology of Gratitude.

View all 11 references / Add more references