Date of Award
Master of Arts
Nataliya Palatnik, Joshua Spencer, Peter van Elswyk
action theory, Guise of the Good, intention, metaethics, value theory
At the intersection of action theory and value theory is a provocative thesis: the Guise of
the Good. The Guise of the Good (GG) states that whenever an agent acts intentionally, she sees
some good in her action. Thus, according to GG, positive evaluation is essential to the nature of
intentional action. Kieran Setiya (2010), however, argues that it is possible to act intentionally
without believing that there is any reason to count in favor of one’s action: if intentional action is
action for a reason, says Setiya, then the Guise of the Good is false. But I argue that Setiya’s
account is insufficiently sensitive to the relationship that agents bear to their own prospective
actions. I argue that this relationship is inherently normative and that, consequently, the Guise of
the Good is true.
Wright, Katie Bridget, "No Sympathy for the Devil: The Guise of the Good Defended" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 2627.