Motivating propositional gratitude

Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1191-1211 (2020)

Abstract

The discussion of propositional gratitude stands in need of a secure theoretical underpinning. Its place in the gratitude literature, alongside the more familiar targeted gratitude that we direct towards benefactors, now seems assured, but its adoption has been uncritical in many cases. In this paper, I argue that existing accounts of gratitude fail to give us good reason to incorporate propositional gratitude into our theories. I discuss Sean McAleer’s paper ‘Propositional Gratitude’ in some detail, and argue that the connection he draws between propositional gratitude and humility is not as close as he supposes, and cannot do all the work required of it. Then I trace the connections between propositional gratitude, targeted gratitude, and gladness, and develop and defend a definition of gratitude that integrates the propositional and the targeted components.

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Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Critique of Practical Reason.Immanuel Kant - 1788 - Hackett Publishing Company.
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Late Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell.
Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 2003 - In Gary Watson (ed.), Free Will. Oxford University Press.

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