Why be yourself? Kantian respect and Frankfurtian identification

Philosophical Quarterly 61 (245):725-745 (2011)
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Abstract

Harry Frankfurt has claimed that some of our desires are ‘internal’, i.e., our own in a special sense. I defend the idea that a desire's being internal matters in a normative, reasons-involving sense, and offer an explanation for this fact. The explanation is Kantian in spirit. We have reason to respect the desires of persons in so far as respecting them is a way to respect the persons who have them (in some cases, ourselves). But if desires matter normatively in so far as they belong to persons, then it matters whether they really do belong to the persons who have them. Thus Kantian considerations explain why identification (or internality) is a normatively relevant category. This account is superior to others, and does not lead to reasons bootstrapping or a self-centred conception of deliberation

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Tim Henning
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Citations of this work

In defense of exclusionary reasons.N. P. Adams - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):235-253.
Core Identifications: The Motives That Really "Speak for Us".Somogy Varga - 2015 - American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (4):301-320.

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Free agency.Gary Watson - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (April):205-20.
Normative requirements.John Broome - 1999 - Ratio 12 (4):398–419.
Free Agency.Gary Watson - 1975 - In Free Will. Oxford University Press.
Autonomy and Personal History.John Christman - 1991 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 21 (1):1 - 24.
The Faintest Passion.Harry Frankfurt - 1992 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 66 (3):5-16.

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