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Volume 52 • Number 4

October 2015



Core Identifications: The Motives That Really "Speak for Us"

by Somogy Varga


Some of our motives (desires, projects, etc.) that we act on are not only of unconstrained origin, but we also take them to express who we are and, thus, to "speak for us." Harry G. Frankfurt has maintained that it is the formation of a hierarchical structure by means of an act of wholehearted identification that makes a given motive genuinely one's own. I argue that wholehearted identifications fail to live up to this task. Instead, I demonstrate that only a subtype of wholehearted identifications, namely core identifications, genuinely "speak for us." In addition, I argue that core identifications help explain the peculiar phenomenology that characterizes some of our crucial choices.

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ISSN: 2152-1123