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Robust Concern

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PHIL 2170
Samantha Copeland

Monday, January 24, 2011 “If the well being of two lovers is intimately tied up with each other’s, it is hard to see how they can have robust concern for each other. (36)” • Critique on Nozick’s ‘we’ “The fact that some degree of autonomy is necessary for such self-determination is crucial: it prevents a complete merging of selves, allowing lovers to feel concern for each other. (39)” • Self-determination – Robert Soloman (background); shared identity is intimate, shared sphere of concern, goals, needs, etc. well-being becomes tied in with one another • When the well-being is tied up this way, my partner is also happy (Nozick) • Halwani says this is an error; everything that affects me doesn’t affect my partner the same way – would have a relationship similar to Aristophanes • We don’t have the union of two autonomous selves; impossible to share that much and still have autonomy • Complete merger prevents concern; selfish concern. If we’re just one self, we don’t have concern for each other – becomes circular, begs the question • Utilitarianism – maximize utility; if we’re just trying to maximize everyone’s else happiness, and you’re only happy by making others happy, and everyone the same way, you can’t be happy – becomes circular, begs the question 1. My beliefs cannot be your beliefs, because they are mine. (They are not the identical same beliefs as yours – even if the contents are the same. Two different sets – a problem of identity) 2. Beliefs I have about me are different than beliefs you have about me. (Ex. When I say “I love you,” you hear “You love me.” Different in the perspective has changed – changes content, reverts back to #1) 3. I have some beliefs that you don’t have (and vice versa) (39) Logically inconsistent. Robust concern: “x desires for y that which is good for y, x desires this for y’s own sake, and x pursues y’s good for y’s benefit and not for x’s (a corollary: sometimes at possible loss to x)” - Soble (in Halwani, p.36) Need to be concerned for their sake, not you
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