Friday, May 14, 2021

"Feeling Like It"

New from Oxford University Press: Feeling Like It: A Theory of Inclination and Will by Tamar Schapiro.

About the book, from the publisher:

You may have an inclination to do it, but there is still a moment when you can decide to do it or not. This "moment of drama" is more puzzling than it first appears. When you are inclined to do something, are you related to your inclination as rider to horse? As ruler to subject? As thinker to thoughts? Schapiro shows that these familiar pictures fail to confront the central puzzle. Inclinations are motives with respect to which we are distinctively passive. But to be motivated is to be active—to be self-moved. How can you be passive in relation to your own activity? Schapiro puts forward an "inner animal" view, inspired by Kant, which holds that when you are merely inclined to act, the instinctive part of yourself is already active, while the rest of you is not. At this moment, your will is at a crossroads. You can humanize your inclination, or you can dehumanize yourself. Feeling Like It provides a concise and accessible investigation of a new problem at the intersection of ethics, philosophy of action, and philosophy of mind.
Tamar Schapiro holds a BA from Yale and a PhD in Philosophy from Harvard. She taught in the department of philosophy at Stanford for many years before joining MIT, where she is currently Associate Professor of Philosophy. She has published articles on Kantian ethics, the theory of action, and motivational psychology.

--Marshal Zeringue