The Ethics of Expectations

In Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, vol 13. Oxford University Press. pp. 149-169 (forthcoming)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This chapter asks two questions about the ethics of expectations: one about the nature of expectations, and one about the wrongs of expectations. On the first question, expectations involve a rich constellation of attitudes ranging from beliefs to also include imaginings, hopes, fears, and dreams. As a result, sometimes expectations act like predictions, like your expectation of rain tomorrow, sometimes prescriptions, like the expectation that your students will do the reading, sometimes like proleptic reasons like the hope that your mentee will flourish, and sometimes expectations are peremptory in that they carry the force of moral law. Turning to the second question, given the multiple roles played by expectations it shouldn’t be surprising that there are also multiple ways expectations can be wrong to hold. Sometimes they wrong as beliefs do, e.g., doxastic wronging, and sometimes they result in alienation because of who holds that expectation of us. The upshot of this chapter is that getting clear on these potential ways expectations can wrong not only delivers an ethics of expectations that mirrors familiar discussions of the ethics of belief, but an ethics of expectations further opens the door for taking seriously an ethics of mental attitudes more generally.

Author's Profile

Rima Basu
Claremont McKenna College


Added to PP

775 (#13,991)

6 months
174 (#8,303)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?