The sources of normativity

New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Onora O'Neill (1996)
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Abstract

Ethical concepts are, or purport to be, normative. They make claims on us: they command, oblige, recommend, or guide. Or at least when we invoke them, we make claims on one another; but where does their authority over us - or ours over one another - come from? Christine Korsgaard identifies four accounts of the source of normativity that have been advocated by modern moral philosophers: voluntarism, realism, reflective endorsement, and the appeal to autonomy. She traces their history, showing how each developed in response to the prior one and comparing their early versions with those on the contemporary philosophical scene. Kant's theory that normativity springs from our own autonomy emerges as a synthesis of the other three, and Korsgaard concludes with her own version of the Kantian account. Her discussion is followed by commentary from G. A. Cohen, Raymond Geuss, Thomas Nagel, and Bernard Williams, and a reply by Korsgaard.

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Citations of this work

A Darwinian dilemma for realist theories of value.Sharon Street - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):109-166.
The Ethics of Conceptualization: A Needs-Based Approach.Matthieu Queloz - forthcoming - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Why be rational.Niko Kolodny - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):509-563.
The Grounds of Moral Status.Julie Tannenbaum & Agnieszka Jaworska - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:0-0.

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References found in this work

Persons, Character, and Morality.Bernard Williams - 1976 - In James Rachels (ed.), Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers 1973–1980. Cambridge University Press.

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