AMBIVALENCE AND AUTHENTIC AGENCY

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Abstract

It is common to believe that some of our concerns are deeper concerns of ours than are others and that some of our attitudes are central rather than peripheral to our psychological identity. What is the best approach to characterizing depth or centrality to the self? This paper addresses the matter of the depth and authenticity of attitudes and the relation of this matter to the autonomy of action. It defends a conception of the real self in terms of preferences and convictions that cohere in a particular structural sense. It thereby gives content to the notion of wholeheartedness to which various action theorists make appeal. The approach is defended in part by an examination of how it handles the phenomenon of ambivalence.1

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