The chapter reconstructs James’s understanding of interests and assesses the ethical consequences of this understanding. In the first part of the chapter, I will tackle the first goal in two steps. In section 1, I will discuss James’s criticism of Spencer’s definition of the mind. In section 2, I will focus on James’s discussion of interests in Talks to Teachers on Psychology (1899). In this context, James uses interests to refer to specific types of attention. In so doing, he introduces a third decisive feature of his understanding of interests (i.e., their deep connection with the self). In the second part of the chapter, I will deal explicitly with the ethical consequences of James’s understanding of interests (section 3). To this end, I will analyze James’s talk “On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings”. In section 4, I will discuss the risks of projective idealization; that is, the situations in which people idealize the lives of “humble”, “common”, “poor” people without taking the perspective of these groups into account. Finally, in section 5 I will focus on “The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life”. I will show that, here again, James reaffirms the selective nature and the plurality of our interests without embracing a particularistic attitude.

The Ethical Consequences of Interests / santarelli matteo. - ELETTRONICO. - (2021), pp. 178-189.

The Ethical Consequences of Interests

santarelli matteo
2021

Abstract

The chapter reconstructs James’s understanding of interests and assesses the ethical consequences of this understanding. In the first part of the chapter, I will tackle the first goal in two steps. In section 1, I will discuss James’s criticism of Spencer’s definition of the mind. In section 2, I will focus on James’s discussion of interests in Talks to Teachers on Psychology (1899). In this context, James uses interests to refer to specific types of attention. In so doing, he introduces a third decisive feature of his understanding of interests (i.e., their deep connection with the self). In the second part of the chapter, I will deal explicitly with the ethical consequences of James’s understanding of interests (section 3). To this end, I will analyze James’s talk “On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings”. In section 4, I will discuss the risks of projective idealization; that is, the situations in which people idealize the lives of “humble”, “common”, “poor” people without taking the perspective of these groups into account. Finally, in section 5 I will focus on “The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life”. I will show that, here again, James reaffirms the selective nature and the plurality of our interests without embracing a particularistic attitude.
2021
The Jamesian Mind
178
189
The Ethical Consequences of Interests / santarelli matteo. - ELETTRONICO. - (2021), pp. 178-189.
santarelli matteo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/840386
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