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CEPPA Talk – Rima Basu (Claremont McKenna College)

May 20, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Title: ‘Normative Expectations’

Abstract: In supplementing the familiar ways that our interpersonal relationships are morally fraught, recent work in epistemology on doxastic wronging has highlighted how these relationships can be epistemically fraught as well. However, in focusing predominantly on beliefs— mental states that arguably constitute a small fraction of our mental lives—these theories have their own theoretical blindspots. In this paper, I expand the scope of analysis to expectations. Typically, we notice the failures of expectations when we’re the targets of them: when we let our loved ones down. Key indicators of the presence of normative expectations are feelings of disappointment and betrayal. Contexts in which these feelings manifest most vividly involve parents and their hopes and dreams for our lives. Focusing on these contexts, I argue that normative expectations play three distinctive roles: a predictive role, a prescriptive role, and a proleptic role. Each role, I conjecture, comes with its own avenue for moral, epistemic, and conceptual failure. Ultimately, in precisifying the heterogeneous class of attitudes that constitute normative expectations, I reveal just how expansive the ‘doxastic’ in doxastic wronging ought be.



This event is co-hosted with the Feminist Philosophy and Social Theory Seminar.