Moral Psychology Lab Meeting
Title: "The Guise of the Good and the Problem of Partiality"
Abstract: Consider the guise of the good thesis, on which we desire things under the “guise of the good.” A precise formulation of this idea is elusive. Defenders of the guise of the good thesis say that desire “aims” at the good, or that desires are “appearances” of goodness, or that what is desired “seems” good to the person who desires it. Here I will sympathetically articulate a precise formulation of the guise of the good thesis (§1), but one that exposes a problem for the view, which I call the problem of partiality (§2). I criticize some promising solutions to the problem (§§3 – 4), before proposing a concessive strategy: the defender of the guise of the good thesis should accept that partial pro-attitudes – i.e. pro-attitudes that manifest partiality – are incorrect, constituting a species of illusion (§5).