Moral Philosophy Seminar (Monday - Week 2, TT21)
We argue that relating to myself as me provides, as such, a reason to care about myself: grasping that an event involves me, instead of another, makes it matter in a special way. Further, this self-concern is not simply a matter of seeing in myself some instrumental value for other ends. We use as our foil a recent skeptical challenge to this view offered in Setiya 2015. We think the case against self-concern is powered by unwarrantedly narrow construal of two key notions. One is the notion of a first-personal way of relating to oneself. A narrow account of the first person in terms of special epistemic relations to oneself makes it easy to overlook a source of non-instrumental reasons of self-concern, located in the special relation a subject has to herself as agent. The other notion is that of self-concern itself. We show that the skeptical case rests in part on a slide towards neighbouring but distinct notions of egoism and selfishness. We also argue that Setiya’s notion of self-love, offered to capture the pre-theoretical intuition of self-concern, cannot do it justice.
The Seminar is going to be held via Microsoft teams. Please email one of the convenors below if you would like to attend.