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Max Lewis

Abstract

It is common to think that our intimates are required to help us. But it can be problematic to appeal to certain kinds of facts (e.g., previous favors or prudentially relevant facts) in order to entice them to help us—even when those facts provide them with sufficient or decisive reason to help us. This is puzzling because, in these cases, our intimates have sufficient or decisive reason to act in the way we are trying to entice them to act. Moreover, it generally seems more problematic to appeal to certain kinds of facts (e.g., previous favors or prudentially relevant facts) in order to entice our intimates to do things that help us than it is to appeal to these facts in order to entice nonintimates to perform the same actions. This too is puzzling because one is usually permitted to ask more from one's intimates than non-intimates. I argue that these enticements are intuitively problematic because they indicate that one violates a demand of good intimate relationships. In particular, they indicate that one violates a demand for a certain kind of doxastic partiality; that is, one should trust one's intimates to follow what one's intimates know are demands of good intimate relationships. More specifically, one fails to trust one's intimates to be sufficiently motivated to protect or promote one's needs, desires, interests, projects, and well-being for one's own sake. Making such requests of nonintimates is not usually intuitively problematic because one is not required to trust non-intimates to be motivated in this way.

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Articles