Monday, April 8, 2013

More on Modules of the Virtue of Humility

In a previous post, I offered the following as one of the cognitive modules of humility:

  • (C1) The humble person intentionally sees others as being more important than himself.

In the meantime, I've revised it to this:

  • (C1) The humble person believes that he ought to have a prima facie preference for the satisfaction of the interests of others over the satisfaction of his own interests.


The process of discussing, presenting ideas at conferences, and revising usually leads to more complex statements of one's initial views. That is the case here. Given this change, the heart of my account of humility is captured not only by the above revised cognitive module of humility, but also the following emotive module:

  • (E1) The humble person has a prima facie preference for the satisfaction of the interests of others over his own.
The humble person knows that objectively speaking, from a God's-eye perspective, the interests of all have equal weight. However, she intentionally has a willful appearance state, where she takes it to be the case that for her it is preferable that the interests of others be satisfied relative to her own. (E1) is not an absolute obligation, given the prima facie condition. The practical wisdom of the agent as well as other virtues will help to determine whether (E1) should obtain in particular circumstances as an all-things-considered preference leading to action.

No comments: