Authors
Sarah Paul
New York University, Abu Dhabi
Abstract
We sometimes strive to achieve difficult goals when our evidence suggests that success is unlikely – not just because it will require strength of will, but because we are targets of prejudice and discrimination or because success will require unusual ability. Optimism about one’s prospects can be useful for persevering in these cases. That said, excessive optimism can be dangerous; when our evidence is unfavourable, we should be at most agnostic about whether we will succeed. This paper explores the nature and rational significance of agnostic practical commitments. Most importantly, the rationality of striving against the odds can depend on investing in a plan for failure: a plan B. I aim to make headway on an account of what backup plans are, how they are related to primary plans, and whether the standard norms of plan rationality apply to our agnostic commitments.
Keywords planning  plan rationality  commitment  grit  optimism  agglomeration
Categories (categorize this paper)
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: 62,388
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Resisting Pessimism Traps: The Limits of Believing in Oneself.Jennifer M. Morton - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Rational Planning Agency.Michael E. Bratman - 2017 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 80:25-48.
On the Principle of Intention Agglomeration.Jing Zhu - 2010 - Synthese 175 (1):89 - 99.
Grit.Sarah Paul & Jennifer Morton - 2018 - Ethics 129 (2):175-203.
Temporal Limits on What Engineers Can Plan.Michael Davis - 2019 - Science and Engineering Ethics 25 (5):1609-1624.
Can We Plan Science?: (Semantics and Pitfalls.Michael J. Moravcsik - 1984 - Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society 4 (4):361-378.
Providence and Pantheism.W. J. Mander - forthcoming - Sophia:1-11.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2021-03-30

Total views
25 ( #434,613 of 2,445,483 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
25 ( #29,735 of 2,445,483 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes