Download Appearances of the Good: An Essay on the Nature of Practical by Sergio Tenenbaum PDF

By Sergio Tenenbaum

'We wish all and merely these issues we conceive to be reliable; we steer clear of what we conceive to be bad.' This slogan was the traditional view of the connection among hope or motivation and rational overview. Many critics have rejected this scholastic formulation as both trivial or improper. it sounds as if to be trivial if we simply outline the great as 'what we want', and unsuitable if we think about obvious conflicts among what we appear to wish and what we appear to imagine is nice. In Appearances of the nice, Sergio Tenenbaum argues that the previous slogan is either major and correct, even in situations of obvious clash among our wishes and our evaluative decisions. protecting that the nice is the formal finish of sensible inquiry in a lot an identical means as fact is the formal finish of theoretical inquiry, he presents a completely unified account of motivation and overview.

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Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, pp. 97–98 (B 83). Desires as Appearances 31 What Kant is saying here about truth is relatively uncontroversial; indeed, so uncontroversial that it inspires him to a rare moment of humor in an otherwise rather sober work. A theory of truth will not have much to say about how we should proceed in the special sciences, and it is certainly no substitute for engaging in the special sciences. Kant considered logic to be a theory of truth, and if we follow him on this point, a theory of truth will indeed be of some help to the special sciences, but this kind of help cannot go beyond identifying some limiting conditions on what can be thought of as true.

Sue does not cause damage to Ms. S’s boat in this manner as a means (not even as a ‘‘constitutive’’ means) of pursuing the end (or the good) of envy, but rather envy makes this action appear good and thus makes her take ‘‘damaging the boat’’ as a reason for action. One could object that although envy is not a further end, the person who is envious is just someone who has a ‘‘grand end’’ of harming someone and that the various expressions of envy are further specifications of this grand end. In this view, although these actions are not the constitutive means of envy itself – they are not the constitutive means of envy per se – they are the constitutive means of the end that characterizes the envious person, namely the aim of, say, harming the owner of a coveted good.

It might be worth comparing the scholastic understanding of desire with subjectivist theories of practical reason. 19 A subjectivist view takes it that desires cannot be rationally criticized in terms of their content, whereas a scholastic view takes it to be constitutive of desire to aim at an appropriate object (the good). 20 If the scholastic view allows for criticism of the content of the agent’s desires, it is not yet clear how it does so. Worse yet, it may appear that if the scholastic view presents the good just as a formal aim of practical reason, then it is vacuous.

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