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Open Access Dissertation
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Ethics and Political Philosophy | Metaphysics | Other Philosophy
Through the years, many philosophers have appealed to reflective endorsement to address important philosophical problems. In this dissertation, I evaluate the merits of those approaches. I first consider Christine Korsgaard’s appeal to reflective endorsement to solve what she calls “the normative problem.” I then consider Harry Frankfurt’s use of reflective endorsement as part of his account of “caring,” which plays a crucial role in his accounts of agency, free will, and personhood. I then turn to Marilyn Friedman’s use of reflective endorsement to explain autonomous action. Finally, I turn to Alan Gibbard’s use of reflective endorsement as part of an account of what it is to make a normative judgment. I argue that each of these positions is subject to similar problems—they fail to provide a plausible account of the self. In the remaining chapters, I argue that empirical psychological studies suggest that reflective endorsement plays an important role with respect to psychological health, but that judgments made by using a process of reflective endorsement are generally not accurate. Ultimately, I argue that reflective endorsement is valuable, but only under certain circumstances.
Robison, Rachel, "The Philosophical Value of Reflective Endorsement" (2018). Doctoral Dissertations. 1190.