Reason and love: A non-reductive analysis of the normativity of agent-relative reasons [Book Review]
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (1-2):45-62 (2005)
Why do agent-relative reasons have authority over us, reflective creatures? Reductive accounts base the normativity of agent-relative reasons on agent-neutral considerations like having parents caring especially for their own children serves best the interests of all children. Such accounts, however, beg the question about the source of normativity of agent-relative ways of reason-giving. In this paper, I argue for a non-reductive account of the reflective necessity of agent-relative concerns. Such an account will reveal an important structural complexity of practical reasoning in general. Christine Korsgaard relates the rational binding force of practical reasons to the various identities or self-conceptions under which we value ourselves. The problem is that it is not clear why such self-conceptions would necessitate us rationally, given the fact that most of our identities are simply given. Perhaps, Harry Frankfurt is right in arguing that we are not only necessitated by reason, but also, and predominantly by what we love. I argue, however, that the necessities of love (in Frankfurts phrase) are not to be separated from, but should be seen as belonging to the necessities of reason. Our loves, concerns and related identities provide for a specific and important structure to practical reflection. They function on the background of reasoning, having a specific default role: they would lose their character as concerns, if there was a need for them to be cited on the foreground of deliberation or if there was a need to justify them. This does not mean that our deep concerns cannot be scrutinised. They can only be scrutinised in an indirect way, however, which explains their role in grounding the normativity of agent-relative reasons. It appears that this account can provide for a viable interpretation of Korsgaards argument about the foundational role of practical identities.
|Keywords||agent-relativity practical reasoning normativity necessities of love Frankfurt Korsgaard|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
Needs, Values, Truth.David Wiggins - 1990 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 180 (1):106-106.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Normative Reasons and the Agent-Neutral/Relative Dichotomy.Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen - 2009 - Philosophia 37 (2):227-243.
Reasons for Action: Agent-Neutral Vs. Agent-Relative.Michael Ridge - 2011 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Reasons and Two Kinds of Fact.Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen - 2011 - In Sliwinski Rysiek & Svensson Frans (eds.), Neither/Nor - Philosophical Papers Dedicated to Erik Carlson on the Occasion of His Fiftieth Birthday. Uppsala Philosophical Studies. pp. 95 - 113.
Voluntarist Reasons and the Sources of Normativity.Ruth Chang - 2009 - In David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.), Reasons for Action. Cambridge University Press. pp. 243-71.
Internal Reasons and Practical Limits on Rational Deliberation.Carolyn Mason - 2006 - Philosophical Explorations 9 (2):163 – 177.
Categorical and Agent-Neutral Reasons in Kantian Justifications of Morality.Vaughn E. Huckfeldt - 2007 - Philosophia 35 (1):23-41.
Egoism and the Publicity of Reason: A Reply to Korsgaard.Michael Cholbi - 1999 - Social Theory and Practice 25 (3):491-517.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads51 ( #102,363 of 2,168,955 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #346,364 of 2,168,955 )
How can I increase my downloads?