Practical Identity, Obligation, and Sociality

Journal of Social Philosophy 49 (4):610-625 (2018)
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In this article, I explore the way in which Korsgaard’s approach to obligation as springing from the reflective rejection of that which threatens one’s own identity can account for obligations towards others, without making the latter relative to obligations to oneself. To this end, I begin by stressing the role of reflexivity in ethical relationships, and show how this reflexivity is mediated by reference to law, which applies both to the self and to the other. On this basis, I then argue that Korsgaard’s account of the interplay between practical and moral identity reflects the very structure of practical reason, which requires both a particular and a universal premise in order to issue practical reasons for action– and the corresponding obligations. Within this framework, I argue that Korsgaard’s solution to the problem outlined above lies in having stressed the shareable character of reasons such that it is neither your reason nor my reason that obligates me, but rather reason as such. This solution, however, requires a further argument aimed at clarifying what makes your reasons different from my own.



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Ana Marta Gonzalez
Universidad de Navarra