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The Dear Self
Frankfurt argues that self-love is the purest and -- paradoxically, perhaps -- most disinterested form of love.
The Question of Realism
This paper distinguishes two kinds of realist issue -- the issue of whether the propositions of a given domain are factual and the issue of whether they are fundamental. It criticizes previous accounts of what these issues come to and suggests that they are to be understood in terms of a basic metaphysical concept of reality. This leaves open the question of how such issues are to be resolved; and it is argued that this may be done through consideration of what grounds the facts of a given domain, when fundamentality is in question, and what grounds our engagement with the putative facts, when factuality is in question.
A Kantian Rationale for Desire-Based Justification
This paper demonstrates that a rationale for a circumscribed form of desire-based justification can be developed out of a contemporary Kantian account as a natural extension of that account. It maintains that certain of Christine Korsgaard's recent arguments establish only that desires must have certain features antithetical to instrumentalism in order to justify. Other arguments purport to establish the standard (stronger) result: that because desires do not have these features, they cannot justify. Her arguments for this strong result, it contends, cannot be reconciled with central commitments in her epistemology and philosophy of mind. The consistent implementation of these commitments opens up a surprising space within what is still readily recognizable as a Kantian ethics--the space for desire-based justification.
Normativity, Commitment, and Instrumental Reason
This paper addresses some connections between conceptions of the will and the theory of practical reason. The first two sections argue against the idea that volitional commitments should be understood along the lines of endorsement of normative principles. A normative account of volition cannot make sense of akrasia, and it obscures an important difference between belief and intention. Sections three and four draw on the non-normative conception of the will in an account of instrumental rationality. The central problem is to explain the grip of instrumental requirements even in cases in which agents do not fully endorse the ends they are pursuing. The solution I propose appeals to coherence constraints on the beliefs that condition the distinctive volitional stance of intention.