Valuing and caring

Theoria 75 (4):272-303 (2009)
What is it to "value" something, in the semi-technical sense of the term that Gary Watson establishes? I argue that valuing something consists in caring about it. Caring involves not only emotional dispositions of the sort that Agnieszka Jaworska has elaborated, but also a distinctive cognitive disposition – namely, a (defeasible) disposition to believe the object cared about to be a source of agent-relative reasons for action and for emotion. Understood in this way, an agent's carings have a stronger claim to "speak for" her as her values than do other attitudes that have been proposed for this role. In particular, an agent's carings establish more robust psychological continuities and cross-temporal connections than do self-governing policies of the sort that Michael Bratman has described; and they forge diachronic coherence not just in her deliberation and action, as self-governing policies do, but also in her cognitive and emotional life. An agent's carings thus help to constitute her identity as a temporally persisting subject . Self-governing policies are at best ersatz -values, which an agent may choose to adopt when she finds that her proper values – her cares – leave her course underdetermined.
Keywords self‐governing policy  valuing  hierarchy  Jaworska  Frankfurt  Bratman  value  caring  Watson
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1755-2567.2009.01049.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,470
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
Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Michael Bratman (1987). Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason. Center for the Study of Language and Information.

View all 22 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Coleen Macnamara (2015). Reactive Attitudes as Communicative Entities. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (3):546-569.
Jeffrey Seidman (2010). Caring and Incapacity. Philosophical Studies 147 (2):301 - 322.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Agnieszka Jaworska (2007). Caring and Internality. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (3):529-568.
Michael E. Bratman (2001). Two Problems About Human Agency. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (3):309–326.
Gary Watson (1975). Free Agency. Journal of Philosophy 72 (April):205-20.
Carla Bagnoli (2000). Value in the Guise of Regret. Philosophical Explorations 3 (2):169 – 187.
Neil Roughley (2002). The Uses of Hierarchy: Autonomy and Valuing. Philosophical Explorations 5 (3):167 – 185.
Jeffrey Seidman (2010). Caring and Incapacity. Philosophical Studies 147 (2):301 - 322.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

118 ( #37,992 of 1,925,562 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

29 ( #15,237 of 1,925,562 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.