Rima Basu, Normative Expectations (Perspectives on Ethics)

Perspectives on Ethics

Normative Expectations

In supplementing the familiar ways that our interpersonal relationships are morally fraught, recent work in epistemology on doxastic wronging has highlighted how these relationships can be epistemically fraught as well. However, in focusing predominantly on beliefs— mental states that arguably constitute a small fraction of our mental lives—these theories have their own theoretical blindspots. In this paper, I expand the scope of analysis to expectations. Typically, we notice the failures of expectations when we’re the targets of them: when we let our loved ones down. Key indicators of normative expectations are feelings of disappointment and betrayal. Contexts in which we these feelings manifest most vividly involve parents and their hopes and dreams for our lives. Focusing on these contexts, I argue that normative expectations play three distinctive roles: a predictive role, a prescriptive role, and a proleptic role. Each role, I conjecture, comes with its own avenue for moral, epistemic, and conceptual failure. Ultimately, in precisifying the heterogeneous class of attitudes that constitute normative expectations, I reveal just how expansive the ‘doxastic’ in doxastic wronging ought be.

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This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Monday, March 8. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

Rima BasuRima Basu
Claremont McKenna College

Mon, Mar 8, 2021
04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
200 Larkin