Choosing to be changed: Revelation, integrity and the ethics of self-transformation

Ethical Perspectives 24 (4):545-568 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

How should one decide whether to undergo an experience that changes who one is? In her discussion of ‘transformative experiences’, L.A. Paul argues that to choose rationally when deliberating first-personally, one should base one’s decision on ‘revelation’, i.e. to discover out what the experience will be like. If this solution is taken as the sole means by which a transformative choice is made, then I argue it is problematic. This is because (i) it overlooks the role that one’s practical identity ought to play when making a major life decision; and (ii) it ignores morally relevant reasons for action. Even if we retain the revelation approach as only part of the means through which a transformative choice is made, I argue that revelation should frequently carry little weight in our decision-making. Rather than focusing on the subjective quality of future experiences, it is often preferable to reflect on who one is and what one’s endorsed practical identity commits one to.

Author's Profile

Paddy McQueen
Swansea University

Analytics

Added to PP
2021-05-13

Downloads
71 (#62,310)

6 months
11 (#61,736)

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?