Against the guise of the good



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Tartu Ülikool


The Guise of the Good thesis explains the nature of intentional action as aimed at accomplishing something that appears good to the agent. According to the Guise of the Good theorist, without the belief that doing such and such leads to preferred results that the agent thinks are good, they would otherwise not act, or they will choose to act differently. This makes sense as an explanation of why people do what they do since we are unlikely to act upon attractions we see no good in �� if we are doing so out of our deliberation. The Guise of the Good thesis is distinct in that it distinguishes the practical actions of humans from mere impulses and automated responses. The evaluative content attached to practical actions under the Guise of the Good commits the thesis to being a necessary explanation of intentional action. In a way, the Guise of the Good thesis has become the standard account of action theory. I argue that it is not the case that whenever we act intentionally, we are acting under the Guise of the Good. The thesis cedes too much power to the agent in justifying the goodness of their action.