Authors
Patricia Marino
University of Waterloo
Abstract
Is there anything irrational, or self-undermining, about having "inconsistent" attitudes of caring or valuing? In this paper, I argue that, contra suggestions of Harry Frankfurt and Charles Taylor, the answer is "No." Here I focus on "valuations," which are endorsed desires or attitudes. The proper characterization of what I call "valuational inconsistency" I claim, involves not logical form (valuing A and not-A), but rather the co-possibility of what is valued; valuations are inconsistent when there is no possible world in which what is valued can co-exist. Essentially conflicting valuations, I show, are no worse for an agent than contingently conflicting ones, which are common and no threat to rationality or well-being. Partly based on reflections about a conflicted mother, who values staying at home and also having a career, I argue that valuational inconsistency does not render a person unable to act, does not make a person's actions ineffective because of vacillation, does not undermine a person's autonomy, and need not make a person dissatisfied with himself. I defend my characterization of inconsistency as an apt one; I offer some reasons to value inconsistency itself; and I draw out some implications for coherence thinking in moral philosophy.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2010.00459.x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,290
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Free Agency.Gary Watson - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (April):205-20.
Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry Frankfurt - 2004 - In Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas (eds.), Metaphysics: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
Free Agency.Gary Watson - 2003 - In Free Will. Oxford University Press.

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Worst Things in Life.Wayne Sumner - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 97 (3):419-432.
In Defense of Ambivalence and Alienation.Logi Gunnarsson - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (1):13-26.
Integrity and Struggle.Matthew Pianalto - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (2):319-336.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

On Essentially Conflicting Desires.Patricia Marino - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (235):274-291.
Nonmonotonic Inconsistency.Charles B. Cross - 2003 - Artificial Intelligence 149 (2):161-178.
Valorar Algo Porque Podría Ser Valorado.Manuel Liz - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 49:135-140.
Why Emotivists Love Inconsistency.Gunnar Björnsson - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 104 (1):81 - 108.
On Using Inconsistent Expressions.Arvid Båve - 2012 - Erkenntnis 77 (1):133-148.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-01-13

Total views
141 ( #84,009 of 2,519,275 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #100,736 of 2,519,275 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes