Socrates - that he judges to be worse than an alternative...

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Socrates’ Position Now surely no one freely goes for bad things or thing he believes to be bad; it’s not, it seems to me, in human nature to be prepared to go for what you think to be bad in preference to what it good (Protagoras 358c6–d2; see also Meno 77b) (Contrast Plato’s later position, in which the human psyche is understood as partitioned: see, for instance the metaphor of the chariot at Phaedrus 246a6) The argument as presented in the Meno: bad things make one miserable; no one would do that which they believe will make them miserable. Davidson’s Presentation of the Problem P1 If an agent wants to do x more than he wants to do y and he believes himself free to do either x or y, then he will intentionally do x if he does either x or y intentionally. P2 If an agent judges that it would be better to do x than to do y, then he want to do x more than he wants to do y. P3 There are incontinent actions (i.e. cases in which an agent intentionally performs an action x
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Unformatted text preview: that he judges to be worse than an alternative action y, whilst believing himself free to do either). Distinguish that which is judged morally best from that which is judged best in other ways: the toothbrush example. Davidson’s Solution Davidson distinguishes two different sorts of practical judgement, conditional (prima facie) judgements: Relative to considerations C, doing A is best; and unconditional, all-out, judgements (judgements sans phrase): Doing A is best (in Davidson’s account, these unconditional judgments are equivalent to intentions). Unconditional judgments always follow from conditional judgments. If the agent is rational the unconditional judgements should follow from her all-things considered conditional judgments: Relative to considerations C (the total set of considerations available to me), doing A is best...
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