Philosophical Studies 147 (2):301 - 322 (2010)

Jeffrey Seidman
Vassar College
This essay seeks to explain a morally important class of psychological incapacity—the class of what Bernard Williams has called “incapacities of character.” I argue for two main claims: (1) Caring is the underlying psychological disposition that gives rise to incapacities of character. (2) In competent, rational adults, caring is, in part, a cognitive and deliberative disposition. Caring is a mental state which disposes an agent to believe certain considerations to be good reasons for deliberation and action. And caring is a mental state which structures an agent’s practical deliberation, by establishing presumptive boundaries on the landscape of possibilities over which her deliberative imagination ranges. Incapacities of character are a consequence of the structure which these presumptive boundaries give to an agent’s deliberation.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Religion   Philosophy of Mind   Epistemology   Logic   Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2009, 2010
DOI 10.1007/s11098-009-9428-0
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: 65,657
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

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785/2002 - Oxford University Press.
Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy.Bernard Williams - 1985 - Harvard University Press.
Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason.Michael Bratman - 1987 - Cambridge: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

View all 48 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Valuing and Caring.Jeffrey Seidman - 2009 - Theoria 75 (4):272-303.
Normative Reasons for Love, Part I.Aaron Smuts - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (8):507-517.
The Unity of Caring and the Rationality of Emotion.Jeffrey Seidman - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (10):2785-2801.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
156 ( #70,578 of 2,462,339 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #223,344 of 2,462,339 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes