A Theory of Prudence

ISBN : 9780198823759

Dale Dorsey
336 Pages
153 x 234 mm
Pub date
Apr 2021
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Much of knowing what to do is knowing what to do for ourselves, but knowing how to act in our best interest is complex--we must know what benefits us, what burdens us, and how these facts present and constitute considerations in favor of action. Additionally, we must know how we should weigh our interests at different times--past, present, and future. Dale Dorsey argues that a theory of prudence is needed: a theory of how we ought to act when we are acting for ourselves. A Theory of Prudence provides a comprehensive account of prudence, including the metaethics of prudential value, the nature of the personal good, the reasons of prudence, and the structure of prudential normativity over time.


Part One: On the Concept of Intrinsic Prudential Value
1 The Prudential Bit
2 The Intrinsic Bit
3 What Is a Theory of Intrinsic Prudential Value?
Part Two: A Theory of Intrinsic Prudential Value
4 A Defense of Subjectivism
5 The Valuing Attitude
6 Idealization
7 Project-Oriented Subjectivism
8 Axiology and Time
Part Three: Prudential Normativity
9 Scoreism and the Constitution of Prudential Reasons
10 Deontic and Maximizing
11 The Possibility of Temporal Bias
12 Temporal Neutrality and the Demandingness of Prudence

About the author: 

Dale Dorsey is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Kansas. He has published widely on issues in normative ethics, metaethics, and political philosophy.

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