David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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European Journal of Philosophy 18 (2):262-282 (2010)
Abstract: In recent work Stephen Darwall has attacked what he calls J. G. Fichte's ‘voluntarist’ thesis, the idea—on Darwall's reading—that I am bound by obligations of respect to another person by virtue of my choice to interact with him. Darwall argues that voluntary choice is incompatible with the normative force behind the concept of a person, which demands my respect non-voluntarily. He in turn defends a ‘presuppositional’ thesis which claims that I am bound by obligations of respect simply by recognizing the other as a person. In this paper I argue Darwall has misidentified the voluntary element in Fichte's account (sections 4–5). This requires me first to explain what Fichte's voluntarism really consists in (sections 1–3), and I suggest an apparent ambiguity in Fichte's position is responsible for Darwall's misreading. Clarifying this ambiguity, however, exposes some limitations to Darwall's thesis, and I end by discussing what those limitations are and what we can learn from them (sections 6–8)
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References found in this work BETA
Stephen L. Darwall (1977). Two Kinds of Respect. Ethics 88 (1):36-49.
Stephen L. Darwall (2006). The Second-Person Standpoint: Morality, Respect, and Accountability. Harvard University Press.
Paul W. Franks (2005). All or Nothing: Systematicity, Transcendental Arguments, and Skepticism in German Idealism. Harvard University Press.
Christine M. Korsgaard (1996). The Sources of Normativity. Cambridge University Press.
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