The transcendental necessity of morality

David Gauthier tries to defend morality by showing that rational agents would choose to adopt a fundamental choice disposition that permits them to cooperate in prisoner's dilemmas. In this paper, I argue that Gauthier, rather than trying to work out a prudential justification for his favored choice disposition, should opt for a transcendental justification. I argue that the disposition in question is the product of socialization, not rational choice. However, only agents who are socialized in such a way that they acquire a disposition of this type could acquire the capacity to use language. Given the internal connection between language and thought, this means that no agent endowed with such a disposition could rationally choose to adopt another. Thus rational reflection by moral agents upon their own fundamental choice disposition will have no tendency to destabilize it
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2003.tb00295.x
 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: 29,478
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Deconstructive Aporias: Quasi-Transcendental and Normative.Matthias Fritsch - 2011 - Continental Philosophy Review 44 (4):439-468.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Rational Choice Virtues.Bruno Verbeek - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (5):541-559.
Morals by Agreement.David P. Gauthier - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Intelligible Character and the Reciprocity Thesis.Andrews Reath - 1993 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 36 (4):419 – 430.
Rational Choice and Moral Theory.Edward McClennen - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (5):521-540.
Co-Operative Solutions to the Prisoner's Dilemma.Duncan Macintosh - 1991 - Philosophical Studies 64 (3):309 - 321.
Two Gauthiers?Duncan MacIntosh - 1989 - Dialogue 28 (01):43-.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
20 ( #251,681 of 2,180,556 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #302,018 of 2,180,556 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums