Feeling Like It: A Theory of Inclination and Will
Date: May 2021
Duration: 6 hours 39 minutes
Feeling like doing something is not the same as deciding to do it. You may have an inclination to do it, but there is still a moment where you can decide to do it or not. This moment of decision presents a puzzle: if being inclined to do something is a form of motivation, or self-movement, how can we be passive in relation to our own self-movement? Is our relationship to our inclinations like that of a rider to a horse, or is it rather like our relationship to spontaneous judgments or perceptions?
Schapiro shows that familiar theories of inclination fail to provide compelling answers to these questions, as they make being inclined to perform an action either too similar or too dissimilar to the action itself. Schapiro puts forward a Kant-inspired 'inner animal' view, which holds that when you are merely inclined to act, the instinctive part of yourself is already active, while the rest of you is not. The moment of decision is your will at a crossroads. Feeling Like It provides a concise and accessible investigation of a new problem at the intersection of ethics, philosophy of action, and philosophy of mind.