Thursday, June 08, 2006

REPLY by Gianfranco to: is a theory with the experience requirement different from Experientialism:
Gianfranco sent me the following comment (in Italian, I translate):

Dancy's idea of an enabling condition is useful to avoid the step 1. Dancy explains that an enabling condition enables, but is not a ground of value in itself. An example with regard to causal explanation goes as follows: if I have to explain the the cause of an event that took place yesterday, for example that a light bulb exploded, I may mention causes and maybe laws. And I can say that all these things (laws are a problem, obviously) are grounds of the bulb's explosion. Obviously, if Italy had sinked in the Mediterranean See the day before, it would have not been true that the buld exploded. But it would be absurd to mention this as a cause of the fact that the bulb didn't explode. That Italy is still here functions as a general enabling condition of that causal explanation, a condition that does not have to be mentioned in the explanation, but that is a condition. What is important is that an enabling condition is something that must be there so that something else happens, but it is not what makes it happen.

Moving this in the field of value: an enabling condition is something that must be there so that something else has value, but is not what it is in virtue of which that something has value. Therefore in the objection, one who accepts the notion of enabling condition does not accept step 2. Something is not good for a subject *in virtue* of its power to cause an experience in him. But if something has not this power, two things follow: either it is not a good, or it is not a good of that subject.
Therefore you can refute 3: not all things that have the power to cause experiences of a certain sort in a subject are good for the subject, even if all goods are things that have the power to cause experiences, or they must be so to be good for a subject. The last conclusion seems to be what the experience requirements tries to capture, if I understand it well.

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