Perspectives and Good Dispositions

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Abstract
I begin with various cases that have been used to motivate the need for a more “subjective” kind of evaluation, and accompanying norms, in both the practical and theoretical domains. I outline a broad paradigm for thinking about such evaluations, which I call perspectivist. According to this paradigm, what one ought to do and believe is fixed by one’s perspective, which is a kind of representation of the world (e.g. the propositions constituting one’s evidence). My purpose is to sketch and defend an alternative framework. I first sketch how what I call dispositional evaluations work, and the kinds of evaluative norms they give rise to (roughly: ‘Manifest good dispositions!’). I then argue that my view has several advantages: it can avoid a range of problems faced by perspectivist views, and it provides a unified picture of (evaluative) norms governing actions, choices, and beliefs. A broader theme that emerges is that a perspectivist focus on issues of epistemic access, or on what is present to an agent’s mind, may prevent us from seeing the full range of options available: too often both sides of various disputes (e.g. internalists and externalists) have been locked in what is essentially a perspectivist framework.
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Archival date: 2021-07-06
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2019-10-15

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