Korsgaard's private-reasons argument

Authors
Joshua Gert
College of William and Mary
Abstract
In The Sources of Normativity, Christine Korsgaard presents and defends a neo-Kantian theory of normativity. Her initial account of reasons seems to make them dependent upon the practical identity of the agent, and upon the value the agent must place on her own humanity. This seems to make all reasons agent-relative. But Korsgaard claims that arguments similar to Wittgenstein’s private-language argument can show that reasons are in fact essentially agent-neutral. This paper explains both of Korsgaard’s Wittgensteinian arguments, and shows why neither of them work. The paper also provides a brief sketch of a different Wittgensteinian account of reasons that distinguishes the normative role of justification from that of requirement. On this account, the real agent-neutrality of reasons applies to their justificatory role, but not to their requiring role
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
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ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2002.tb00003.x
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Korsgaard's Arguments for the Value of Humanity.Michael Bukoski - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (2):197-224.
Brute Rationality.Joshua Gert - 2003 - Noûs 37 (3):417–446.
On Korsgaard’s Argument for Kant’s Moral Law.Amir Saemi - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-15.
Practical Identity, Obligation, and Sociality.Ana Marta González - 2018 - Journal of Social Philosophy 49 (4):610-625.

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