A Plea for Ambivalence

Amélie Rorty

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780199235018
Published online January 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 A Plea for Ambivalence

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This article explores the skills and strategies that enable us to use appropriate ambivalence constructively, validating and preserving the multiple terms of psychological and moral conflict. Understanding these strategies brings surprising insights into the constitutive function of imaginative thinking in substantively well-formed robust practical reasoning. The article highlights the need for norms of epistemic responsibility. Analyzing techniques for preserving appropriate ambivalence may also help chart the ways that reflective equilibrium can be maintained and constructed. The strategies of constructive ambivalence provide models for addressing conflicts in the public sphere: while they cannot ensure morality, they are among the civic virtues.

Keywords: skills and strategies; ambivalence; psychological conflict; moral conflict; imaginative thinking; reflective equilibrium

Article.  8808 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind

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