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

Tony Manela
Siena College
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.
Keywords appreciation  benevolence  gratitude  gladness  prepositional gratitude  propositional gratitude
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-019-01368-z
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References found in this work BETA

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.

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Citations of this work BETA

Thanks for Being, Loving, and Believing.Tony Manela - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (5):1649-1672.

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