Philosophical Explorations 13 (1):23 – 34 (2010)
AbstractThe phenomenon of ambivalence is an important one for any philosophy of action. Despite this importance, there is a lack of a fully satisfactory analysis of the phenomenon. Although many contemporary philosophers recognize the phenomenon, and address topics related to it, only Harry Frankfurt has given the phenomenon full treatment in the context of action theory - providing an analysis of how it relates to the structure and freedom of the will. In this paper, I develop objections to Frankfurt's account, all revolving around the charge that his account contains a serious ambiguity between willing and identifying. With such objections in place, I then develop an analysis that avoids the difficulties and ambiguities that Frankfurt's analysis is prey to. I briefly distinguish ambivalence from other types of internal conflict. This paper aims to offer conceptual clarification on the phenomenon of ambivalence, which will then allow for discussions about the normative merits and demerits of ambivalence, the effects of ambivalence on autonomous action, and methods of resolution of ambivalence
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References found in this work
Taking Ourselves Seriously & Getting It Right.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2006 - Stanford University Press.
A Case of Mixed Feelings: Ambivalence and the Logic of Emotion.Patricia Greenspan - 1980 - In A. O. Rorty (ed.), Explaining Emotions. University of California Press. pp. 223--250.
A Coherence Theory of Autonomy.Laura Waddell Ekstrom - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (3):599-616.
Citations of this work
Biases and Heuristics in Decision Making and Their Impact on Autonomy.J. S. Blumenthal-Barby - 2016 - American Journal of Bioethics 16 (5):5-15.
Two Minds, One Patient: Clearing Up Confusion About “Ambivalence”.Bryanna Moore, Ryan H. Nelson, Peter A. Ubel & Jennifer Blumenthal-Barby - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics 22 (6):37-47.
In Defense of Ambivalence and Alienation.Logi Gunnarsson - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (1):13-26.
A Wholehearted Defense of Ambivalence.D. Justin Coates - 2017 - The Journal of Ethics 21 (4):419-444.
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