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Res Philosophica

Volume 93, Issue 1, January 2016

Daniel A. Wilkenfeld
Pages 245-268
DOI: 10.11612/resphil.2016.93.1.14

Modeling Authenticity

In this paper, we explore the link between understanding and transformative decisions. Paul (2014) suggests that one important aspect of making some decisions is that we make them not just on the basis of what data from other people tell us, but based on our own acquaintance with how the decision affects us. In this paper, we draw out a parallel between the sort of reasoning that Paul argues is required for authentic decision making and the sort of epistemic grasp of a subject matter that is required for understanding. The central claim of this paper is that one’s ability to make a decision authentically is proportional to one’s ability to model what it is like to have the possible resultant experience. We endorse a broad notion according to which one can model something by thinking about relevantly similar things.

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