Research Workshop: "A New Solution to the Problem of Trading Up"

Rosalind Chaplin (UCSD)

Friday April 23rd, 2021 (12:10pm - 2:00pm) via Zoom.


The problem of trading up says that if we love our partners for their good qualities, then we have reason to abandon them when a person more perfectly exemplifying those qualities comes along. I propose a new solution according to which this problem rests on a misconception of the kinds of reasons we have for loving others. Our partners’ good qualities rationalize our love, but they do not give us comparative or contrastive reasons of the sort that could explain why we love our partners more than someone else, or rather than someone else. But as I argue, unless reasons for loving do provide contrastive and comparative reasons of this sort, the trading up objection cannot get off the ground.



Rosalind Chaplin is a PhD candidate at UC, San Diego. Beginning in September of 2021, she will be a Bersoff fellow at NYU. In July of 2022, she will become an Assistant Professor at UNC Chapel Hill. She has wide-ranging interests in Kant, early modern philosophy, and contemporary ethics and moral psychology. 

In her historical research, her projects focus primarily on Kant’s idealism, disputes about the infinite and the indeterminate, and debates in early modern metaphysics and philosophy of mind. In her research in ethics and moral psychology, she focuses on the moral emotions, the role of reactive attitudes in our responsibility practices, and the significance of close personal relationships for a compelling account of moral responsibility and our normative practices more generally.



All Research workshops will be held via Zoom for the 2020-2021 school year. Zoom links are available on the Philosophy Major and Minor Canvas site.

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