Can we intend the past?

Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12 (3):304-311 (2017)
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Abstract

First and primarily, I criticize Jay Wallace's account of the affirmation dynamic, which entails a willingness to bring about past occurrences that were necessary for one's present attachments. Specifically, I criticize his analysis of regret and affirmation as intention-like attitudes about the past. Second, I trace Wallace's notion of regret to a common but misguided model of retrospection as a choice between courses of history. Finally, I offer reason to think that the rationality of retrospection crucially differs from the rationality of choice.

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Oded Na'aman
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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