Imagining others

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
It is often argued that the ability to imagine what others think and feel is central to moral functioning. In this paper, I consider to what extent this is true. I argue that neither the ability to think of others as having representational mental states, nor the ability to imagine being in their position, is necessary for moral understanding or moral motivation. I go on to argue that the area in which thinking about others’ thoughts and feelings appears to play the largest role is that of supererogatory actions. Being able to get on well with others seems to be importantly predicated on our ability to think about their thoughts and feelings and being able to take up their perspective. However, when it comes to grosser moral norms and restrictions, such as harm norms, there is little reason to think that thinking about others’ thoughts and feelings plays a central role in understanding such norms or being motivated by them.
Keywords
No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
MAIIO
Upload history
Archival date: 2014-07-23
View other versions
Added to PP index
2009-12-23

Total views
120 ( #43,308 of 65,580 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #57,906 of 65,580 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.