Practical identities and autonomy: Korsgaard's reformation of Kant's moral philosophy

Abstract
Kant has long been taxed with an inability to explain the detailed normative content of our lives by making universalizability the sole arbiter of our values. Korsgaard addresses one form of this critique by defending a Kantian theory amended by a seemingly attractive conception of practical identities. Identities are dependent on the contingent circumstances of each person's world. Hence, obligations issuing from them differ from Kantian moral obligations in not applying to all persons. Still, Korsgaard takes Kantian autonomy to mean the normativity of all obligations is rooted in universalizability. The wealth of values informing our lives is thus said to be accommodated within a Kantian framework.After briefly explaining Korsgaard’s understanding of practical identities and their role in her reformation of Kant's moral philosophy, I argue that she gives an inadequate explanation of how the obligations that arise from a person’s practical identities derive their authority from the person's will. I then consider how her position might be developed to meet this objection in accordance with her allegiance to “constructivism” and I argue that the epistemic commitments of people’s actual identities makes it unlikely that such a development could preserve Kantian autonomy as she interprets it
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2002.tb00160.x
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 27,208
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Bare Personhood? Velleman on Selfhood.Catriona Mackenzie - 2007 - Philosophical Explorations 10 (3):263 – 282.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

72 ( #72,421 of 2,164,289 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #84,020 of 2,164,289 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums