Saturday, January 7, 2012

Goes looking for theory: Session 572: The Philosophical Example

BRuce Robbins introduces

the theme was langauge, literature and learning (not memorable) as Bruce Robbins introduces topic. See my point earlier in taking a break, I am wrong, the themes are as bland as NCA, wonder why all the digital humanities, and labor then.

interested in humanitariansim in cosmopolitianism motivates his interest in examples (would you do x to elminate Y) examples to escape uncertainty when you want to use uncertainty in decisions in time

are literary examples not grounded in the time of making decisions. (interesting that Robbins philosophy example is very rhetorical)

But he does not do a paper

France Ferguson (FF) is first up; Helen Small (HS) will be next, Jesse Rosenthal (JR) third

FF: What was I thinking? new title
Xpicks literary over philosophical, how are the differences told but the plan to do it, hesitating unable to do the promise, she becomes upset with how donald davidson use example

weakness of the will davidson Davidson mostly negative

will is weak against own best judgement unable to do what would be better, word is incontinent all the actions but not helpful would not use the aristotle terms ("acracia?).

acracia calls up extreme cases they violate expectation of rational behavior they are incomprehensble less in terms of evil than irrational compulsion; unpredicatable and predictable, not what davidson thinks

Davidson: not realize x is y, but not incontinence it:importance of the problem

not just doing wrong thing but knowingly doing the worse or for the worse even if you know the difference/ Weakness of the will distant the cases from rational delberation their protagonist cannot particpate the real world

Dantes inferno example: adultory Francesca actions and punishments linked, so better to forgo. But francesca resists. never asks what was she thinking. just one part of the example.

to seek incontinence as charactorological means she cannot make a choice. Davidson also beleives she cannot deliberate it was her character not the book; she does not know, because form of character not let her see it a problem

Davidson restricts incontinence eliminates the problem by commenting on an example.

in general this talk is about why Davidson essay on moral will is harms

problem as the problem: two different themes get confused: desire distracts from the good' 2.incontinent always picks beast over morality

model of rationality overrides a sense over the good, our individual sense of the good.

preserves the problem against our better judgement cannto figure out how causes outstrip the why

what was one thinking in a particular way, behavior cannot account for, (Robin Curoso examples) but also reaches a conclusion and acts in another way

inabliity to say what they were thinking what is special is the actor cannot know itself.

is to isolate situations on the agents self understaning and its failure. agents do not have good accounts for why they acted they way they did, they do not know what happens. make manifest actions cannot participate in controlled experment to choose between actions

what was I thinking is the problem of incointences

HS why literary examples in moral philosophy

more complex better real pysch conditions of making decisions; even i implausible, will allow deep reflection provide critical, the turn away from lieteray

what matters? literary criticism may not have much affect of how moral philosophy that needs to be literary

A. how use LX

canon of lit where pivot of moral thought, derived from realist work .

power of examples Oniel: hallmark of Wittegenstein examples Deliberate examples of completed example, than less completed examples

banal bad, tragic (are closer to liteary)

"trolly scenario" runaway trolly fork will kill 5 people but another person will die (or you)

footbridge example railway line; all 5 will die, unless a stranger is dropped down to stop

repellant alternative and defend on moral grounds; as narrative they can be realized; perversity of imaginations

fatman lead you out of a cave the case flood all will drawn can blast the man out of the cave kill the fat man to save others

no help will be instinctive not deliberative bernard williams moral choice is one too many (taste).

II no longer as wittgenstienian in literary, Williams superi Shame, not life but bad literature. will help philosopher of naive nominalism, relatavism,

classical antiquity what is conditional what is historically contingent: Aytical

since 1960s resistance of logical pos move away from moral philosophy

moral philosophy removed from intutitions, use literary to speak common sense to philosophy

literature principles and intuitions

literary philosohphers stand out

drawback imaginatively closed; we know what they choose distract from the idea that it is a choice; cultural txts conceal critical disagreements, dispute from the examples not concern with critical judgments; literary get in the way of philosophical; seperate out artificial from the describe is hard to really seperate the aesthetics

On What matters is the book to be looked at for how the literary example goes away

JR: BEing in the plot

copperfield witnes suffer but not askd.

david not act waits for the plot to act for him; moral action

give agency over to the plot; that stretches to our own" moral intuitionism, Bernard Williams a Feeling

MI: ethical example is used to explain the complexity decisions

trolleyology: our ethical decisions not by reason but by more by consensus and not known except for causistry; black box but do not know what is inside, feed it questions and answers and try to get example

infinite reiterations

would you turn it: deliberate where we draw line is let something happen versus making something happen

examples make us react against mostly always argue against action, they let the plot happen

Copperfield, difficult cases; plot unfold not take the action

narrative stories make us feel right, metalonaguages group around black box of intutionism

linguistics cant judge it till you are told the story we will find a shared ethical consensus. could have the same feeling but not call moral feeling

phil double: assume we will feel intuitive narrartive push, but we will interpret in a certain special way, they become argumeent based on their narrative movement

Kant's moral feeling an incentive for action. Whn K want to force awarness a faled ethical experience it is te feeling of what went wrong explains the feeling. Example makes it aware that the intuitionism is there, when an action is not to be taken

use causistry to figure out what we already know we have shared ethical knowledge we will get to it if we work hard enouf to get it. the moral truths that govern without reasons

intuitionism continues in our moral philosophy

ethical moral communis is our decisions, but as if we think as the anonymous one

doign somethign vs letting something happen, preferable to let this let this happen then not do anything

Copperfield the deferal may not be as passive 19th century novels; a switch of person/pubic when we defer to group/plot we defer to that which we are apart as opposed to our invididuality. Form a resolution/ consdquence of resolution.

instead of falling into embdeness to ind but individual fallend into embodiness the david move the lot move act

:: overall a panel about how the key folks of moral philosophy tend to use examples and the significance of the examples whether they are literary or not. a special genre of the moral example the trolly story is an example of letting plot happen to orient oneself to the moral intuitionism. need to re think ferguson, hard to hear but it is the inability to ever know why we acted the way we acted is what we cant get to with any of the examples (phil or literary) we use, Small examples of turn away from literary lost significance of the more, but there was an inaiders argument about the fate of moral reasoning after logical positivism.


  1. davidson important because the examples wonder what it would mean to throw an example like this into the mix

  2. Thank you for writing about incontinence. Good post. treatment of incontinence