Satisficing and Motivated Submaximization (in the Philosophy of Religion)

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Abstract
In replying to certain objections to the existence of God, Robert Adams, Bruce Langtry, and Peter van Inwagen assume that God can appropriately choose a suboptimal world, a world less good than some other world God could have chosen. A number of philosophers, such as Michael Slote and Klaas Kraay, claim that these theistic replies are therefore committed to the claim that satisficing can be appropriate. Kraay argues that this commitment is a significant liability. I argue, however, that the relevant defenses of theism are committed to the appropriateness of, not satisficing, but motivated submaximization. When one submaximizes with motivation, one aims at the optimum but accepts the good enough because of a countervailing consideration. When one satisfices, one aims at the good enough and chooses the good enough because it realizes her aim at the good enough. While commitment to the appropriateness of satisficing may be a significant liability, commitment to the appropriateness of motivated submaximization is not.
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2016
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TUCSAM-3
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First archival date: 2015-11-21
Latest version: 2 (2015-11-21)
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2015-01-28

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